Sex and Gender

In: Social Issues

Submitted By elesende
Words 747
Pages 3
Johnson and Wales University

Sex and Gender.

Enrique Lesende
Professor K. Barker
PSYC 2001

The words sex and gender are often used interchangeably. However, sex refers to male or female, while gender refers to masculine or feminine (Bland). Therefore, sex includes the biological characteristics that distinguish the two sexes and do not change around the world. Gender on the other hand, comprise the behaviors and expectations a particular society considers appropriate for the two sexes to display. In the societies of the past, the environment further adapted whatever biological tendencies males and females were thought to have had (Kruger). Boys and girls were nurtured to fulfill the specific gender roles anticipated of them. Men were expected to be strong and to support their families by taking on activities outside of the house in both the agricultural and industrial eras. In order for culture and the expectations of that culture to continue, young boys were taught the tasks their fathers performed. When schooling and higher education became available boys were also expected to attend. As society continued to transition, men began taking up higher positions in governmental, medical and business fields (Dunleavy). On the contrary, the feminine role was to care for the children and run the household. Even as communities developed from agricultural to more industrial and continued to evolve subsequently, young girls rarely received a basic education and higher education was only accessible to women much later on. In many western cultures, gender roles have since progressed significantly. These societies have come to the realization that both sexes share various psychological characteristics and are able to perform the same way. It can be said that much of the western world has become androgynous, meaning they lack strict gender…...

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