Made Not Born:
The Construction of Gender
Many people assume that gender is biological, something you’re
born with. But those who died at the hands of deadly soldiers
wearing "women’s skirts" (kilts), or those from America’s 1800s
who believed secretaries should be men, or those throughout
most of western history who believed that the sexually voracious
sex was the female would be confused by the evidence that these
issues of gender change with time and culture. Here will be
examined the social construction of gender in different aspects.
To clarify, "sex" as we use the term here is the genetic or
physiological distinction between male and female humans.
Males have XY chromosomes and a penis; females have XX
chromosomes and a vagina. There are certainly exceptions to
these ("males" and "females" who have lost their external sex
organs or had genital surgical alterations; individuals who through
birth or surgery have sexual organs of both sexes; people born
with X, XXY, XYY, or XXX chromosomes; etc.), but these are
related to the "sex" of an individual.
The "gender" of an individual, which is what we are discussing
here, refers to the roles given to people in a society based on that
society's perception of their "sex."
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copyright 2000-2005 by Alden Loveshade