Gender versus Sex | INFJ Forum

Gender versus Sex

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by rbecca23, May 17, 2010.

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  1. rbecca23

    rbecca23 Regular Poster

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    In my sociology class we covered the topic of gender/sex within our society (American), and discussed the differences of 'gender' and 'sex.'

    According to my textbook and professor,



    Sex is the biological definition of a human being: male or female

    Gender is the sociological role we and society place upon ourselves. In other words, we have a choice to define our genders.

    So I'm under the impression that 'sex' is biological, and 'gender' is social and up for negotiation.

    If we are biologically defined by sex, then gender has nothing to do with *being* male or female, but whether we are masculine or feminine.

    If you agree with this theory, is it kosher to assume genders of members in various relationships based not off their sex, but how they react to others and themselves in society? Does gender play a large part in relationships, or a smaller part?

    If you disagree, do you feel that sex and gender are interchangeable? How so? Why do words like male and female exist along with masculine and feminine? What do the latter two words mean to you?
     
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  2. Ergo Christobal

    Ergo Christobal Talking Lightbulb
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    I agree.

    Sex is just the hardware, Gender is the specific social role that is expected of us and usually governed by our sex. for example, a female friend of mine checks out on all the female parts and sexual attraction to men, but feels like they are unable to fit into the female social role. Their sex doesn't match up with the gender role they feel comfortable with.
     
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  3. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Ever met a person who is explicitly gender-neutral? I guess they are right, but it is still very hard not to think of them in terms of gender roles.
     
  4. Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf Airborne all the way!

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    Pretty much what I've learnt too and makes sense to me. as for the role gender plays, people tend to ignore gender and look more at sex. for example, you could be in hetrosexual relationship with regards to gender, but it is a homosexual relationship with regards to sex. in most of such cases, people tend to only see the sex and say they are homosexual.
     
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    #4 Grey Wolf, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  5. On my own path

    On my own path Community Member

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    I usually do not contribute to discussions on this topic because somewhere along the line I get my feelings hurt by someone's comment, usually one taking stereotypes and stretching them over the entire of humanity. But I will try to give my comments none the less.

    An individual's sex can be considered the individual's role in copulation, which is either male or female; which gamete they provide.

    Gender, I believe is not polarised. I believe that there is the societal construct of masculinity, the societal construct of femininity, and innumerable shades in between. Usually, I believe people may fall into the in between range nearer to one edge or the other. Some people may fall right on to one of the poles; others fall right in the middle. I believe it is possible for someone to not have a gender. How? By not "letting" society define who you are for you based on the constructs of gender; by searching for who you really are and embracing that. I also believe that no to people share the same gender, if they do possess a gender, as their perception and understanding of societal expectations and constructs can differ, sometimes drastically
     
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    #5 On my own path, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  6. OP
    rbecca23

    rbecca23 Regular Poster

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    I hadn't really thought of NOT having a gender. I do agree with you in the sense that there is pressure to fit into a gender role, and that the deciding factor is not usually the individual. But I wonder why gender was even established in the first place. It is very common to see the 'girlie girl' who likes action movies, and the 'manly man' who can shed a few tears. Is this what you mean by not fitting into a specific gender? Being able to express yourself on all aspects of the 'gender' spectrum?
     
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  7. On my own path

    On my own path Community Member

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    Pretty much. I believe it is rare to find someone who would fit a pole in it's entirety. Think of it as general model that can be mapped on a graph resembling a negatively skewed probability distribution.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With an increase in the horizontal axis indicating an increasing level of characteristics along a specific region of the spectrum or an increase in the intensity of adherence to the region of the spectrum. and the vertical axis representing the number of people of a certain sex that generally correlates to the region of the spectrum.

    Hence, we may say that there may be people who are on the "opposite end of the gender spectrum"; people who fit the poles, but most lie at a mode and within standard deviations of the mode
     
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    #7 On my own path, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  8. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    i agree that sex and gender are not exactly the same thing, but to say gender is a choice might be taking it too far. i think gender is separate from biological sex but is still genetically determined... ie. the genes that encode for a particular sex might not be the same that encode for a particular GENDER. the development of the brain and genitals in this case might be completely unrelated to each other. i agree though that social conditioning has some effect.
     
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  9. Durandal

    Durandal Newbie

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    Very well said, I 100% agree and feel this too. The amount of influence that society presses on everyone is ridiculous, so it's important to try and speculate based on none of that influence at all to find a more balanced truth, and I feel your post got as close to that as possible.
     
  10. The Jester

    I just thought the exact same thing.
    I have nothing constructive to add. Well played. *claps*
     
  11. slant

    slant amour-propre
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    My gender is masculine according to 1st world western standards.
     
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  12. OP
    rbecca23

    rbecca23 Regular Poster

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    I have masculine traits that overpower my feminine ones. I used to be in denial about it, but.. I am who I am, and even though some things I do are considered "male," it doesn't really matter.
     
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