Sex and Gender

Sex and gender represent rather different concepts in the society; therefore, they should be carefully distinguished. Both are social concepts, thus sex and gender are likely to face numerous problems in the modern society. By means of cognitive and literature analysis, this essay will demonstrate that problems of sex and gender refer to social ones. Coping with the community problem becomes possible when the society is provided with accurate education on the differences between the aspects of sex and gender, and proper community development according to modern standards of living.

Sex represents biological characteristics of people, such as hormonal levels, XY and XX chromosomes, and secondary sex characteristics (for example, breast development, body hair, etc.). Sex characteristics make women different from men but do not establish male superiority or female inferiority. In fact, sex is just a social construct because, on the basis of sex information, society assigns a person to the category of female or male. On the contrary, gender refers to a continuum of femininity (sexy, soft, etc.) and masculinity (rugged, muscular, etc.) with a set of gender characteristics between them (Mikkola, 2011).

While sex is predetermined by nature, gender is settled by society in the course of socialization (family, friends, school, the media, etc.). Family plays the decisive role in the socialization, since it thrusts the gender stereotypes. The stereotypes are those, according to which women must be weak, dependent, unaggressive, etc. while men must be strong, independent, and confident. Gender roles define the lifestyles of males and females, making them different and, thus, influencing their quality of life. In the differentiation regard, it becomes obvious that determination and performance of sex and gender roles refer to

Factor of sex has always determined and still determines the factor of gender. As a result, women, for example, were deprived of their political and social rights based on their real or imagined physical weakness, psychical instability. Moreover, females were dictated by the society standards of domestic goddess. Thus, even today, women are considered to be insufficient political and social activists while the role of males is overestimated in the aforementioned areas. Such approach usually leads to inequality between men and women, derogating women from their rights. In a modern society, however, distinguishing gender and sex proves that those to aspects of a person are separable. In other words, a person can be a man by sex but gendered a woman, making him also a weak member of society, who is enable to be politically and socially active and responsible and vice versa. In most cases, men gendered a woman, are homosexual or transvestites. Society considers them as weaker members; and, therefore, such men usually face prosecutions and indignities.

Being a social concept, the issue of gender requires the solution in social terms. Social and political reforms can finally bring an end to females' subordination because, as it was mentioned above, gender is a social concept; and thus, can be alterable and mutable. Another way to address inequality caused by gender stereotyping is to portray women as independent actors and men as non-aggressive in kid’s books so that children learned to evaluate gender equality from the early childhood.

Taking into account abovementioned information, it should be noted that sex and gender represent rather different concepts: sex is initially determined by nature, and gender is a socially constructed factor. Masculine and feminine gender norms determine and reinforce women's subordination, predetermining their roles in society: women have to be passive, docile, ignorant, etc. Thus, the issues of sex and gender refer to social ones, and their solution should be found in a way of social changes.