Uploaded by debiasioantony

Gender and sex

De Biasio Antony
Gender and sex
Gender and sex are subjects that are often constrained by long-held views that are
deeply rooted in the collective mind. The differences between sex and gender are often
misunderstood and complex. To what extent are gender and sex plural and how do they
On the one hand, gender is relative to how an individual feel inside its head and can
change quickly over time. Gender also refers to social and cultural attributes and
understandings of men and women and their roles in the social world. There is as well the
gender expression which is a different thing entirely, defined by the exterior look such as
voice, hair, etc. On the other hand, sex is the physical traits of the individual’s body, it is
defined by biological characteristics such as a penis and vagina. The issue in our society is that
people are raised to be female or male based on their physical traits from birth whereas sex
and gender are not correlated.
Gender is not defined solely by men and women as the old model goes, but rather by
a wide variety of definitions. With the dated model of gender description, men had no share
of female and vice versa. However, a man or a woman can have a greater or lesser share of
the other. Thus, a large number of genders exist, such as agendered, pangendered, twospirited, which can all be put on a continuous spectrum with two independent scales,
womaness and maness. We can highlight the fact that the gender you identify as may or may
not be the same one as what you express with things like your clothes and behaviours, all of
which can also be on a spectrum. Despite an increasing acceptance of gender diversity, society
remains built on a binary model which greatly reduce the expression of other genders than
men and women, from the birth to adulthood.
Sex is also difficult to define, it is true that a lot of natural overlaps occur between
male and female before and after birth, especially when it comes to chromosomes, XX and XY
are not the only existing sexual gene combinations, people can be born with XXX or XXY.
Furthermore, anatomically speaking, the major sexual traits visible from the exterior of the
body are penis, breast and vagina. However, someone might look phenotypically female on
the outside, but not have ovaries or a uterus, the biological possibilities are infinite and
classified under the term DSDs (differences of sexual development). It is important to know
that as much as 2% of the global population are affected with DSDs, it represents up to 150
million people worldwide.
Finally, attraction can be tackled here because often misjudged, it is independent from
gender and sex and only describes how a person is attracted to another being. A continuous
spectrum with two scales, masculinity and femininity is also used to explain all the label
combos, gay, pansexual, asexual for instance…