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Sex vs gender

Posted by GPP on September 10, 2003

In Reply to: Sex vs gender posted by GPP on September 10, 2003

: : : : "The smile on a happy Man "

: : : : there is this gentle man whose become a proud father and thats all about what I am trying to portray it..

: : : : how can I better frame it....

: : :
: : : One way is to describe the internal feeling a new parent may have, such as the overused "his heart swelled with pride".

: : : I suggest using stronger synonyms..."grin" instead of "smile"...and substituting a physical description that suggests his happiness:

: : : An inane/foolish grin spread across the face of the new father...gently cradling his first child/son/daughter.../
: : : as he gently held/touched ..../

: : :
: : : I have used / to designate possible alternatives. Chose one or the other.

: :
: : ": For "political correctness" use "their" rather than "his"."
: : Well, but certainly not in this instance. It's poor English, but "PC", to use "their" for the possessive case in referring to a single person OF UNKNOWN SEX. When we're talking about a "proud father", chances are we can make an assumption about his sex.

: Speaking of PC, for the benefit of ESL learners, the English language doesn't have genders except in the pronouns he/she/it, his/her/its, etc. Throughout history a man or boy has been of the male SEX, a woman or girl of the female SEX. For some reason only in the past few decades, people have become embarrassed about using this word, and in an attempt at political correctness have substituted the word GENDER to mean sex in this sense. If your native language does use genders, this can be very confusing.

Well, I do know the reason for the change in terminology. Up until perhaps half a century ago, the word 'sex' was used to indicate which of two types of equipment a person carried around (that is, not usually the equipment itself, although that sense was not unknown); and the USE of the equipment was generally referred to either with a euphemism such as "making love" or with a vulgarism. But then as the term 'having sex' came into more common usage, that's when the embarrassment started.