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Sex vs gender

Posted by GPP on September 15, 2003

In Reply to: Sex vs gender posted by pdianek on September 14, 2003

: Surely it's rather more to do with the influence (at least in the US) the homosexual lobby has had, wherein "gender" is considered to be rather fluid. That is, a man dressed as a woman will say he is of the female gender. Confused? You should be. An odd neighbor last year had mutilating surgery to make himself look female -- but, in answer to my children's questions, I pointed out that if aliens ever came down and pondered, "Hmm, man or woman?", all they'd have to do would be take one cell of his body and look for the Y chromosome. It'd be there. Therefore he's still male, despite the makeup, ruffles, and high heels. Such is the power of SEX.

An interesting observation. I think we both may be coming to the same conclusion from opposite directions. Here's a quote from American Heritage Dictionary 4th Ed. Online:
"Usage Note: Traditionally, gender has been used primarily to refer to the grammatical categories of "masculine," "feminine," and "neuter," but in recent years the word has become well established in its use to refer to sex-based categories, as in phrases such as 'gender gap' and 'the politics of gender'. This usage is supported by the practice of many anthropologists, who reserve sex for reference to biological categories, while using gender to refer to social or cultural categories. According to this rule, one would say 'The effectiveness of the medication appears to depend on the sex (not gender) of the patient', but 'In peasant societies, gender (not sex) roles are likely to be more clearly defined'. This distinction is useful in principle, but it is by no means widely observed, and considerable variation in usage occurs at all levels."