Sex and Gender

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In differentiating between sex and gender, Wilson (1989) cites Ivan Illich as the latter “locates sex as the contemporary civil designation in order to show that the massive grey area between the psychological (sex) and that which is (allegedly) assigned societally in the form of role (gender)” (p. 1). It could be added to the statement mentioned above that when one refers to sex, it is a psychological term that differentiates between male and female and refers to the biological differences between the two (“What is the difference between sex and gender,” n. . ).

On the other hand, the definition of gender is extended by categorizing people between masculine and feminine that is more of the perception of society with regard to the roles that individuals play (“What is the difference between sex and gender,” n. d. ). The clear differentiation of the two is important such that one is able to understand the meaning behind these two words and would avoid a wrongful use of the words.

It would also help in the studies conducted for the two different terms that will clearly show that the classification for the society is not just sex and female but is rather masculinity and femininity. This provides a strong basis for different arguments that could be raised in dialogues with regard to gender. As adapted from Ernestine Friedl (n. d. ), there are six factors in our changing society that affects gender identity.

These six factors are a) “labor related to subsistence base,” b) “distribution & exchange of goods and services,” c) “child-rearing,” d) “sexuality,” e) “symbolism & ritual,” and f) “extraordinary events. ” The interplay between the environment and genetic make-up, as is the debate between nurture and nature, could be accounted for the formation of gender identity. As one interacts with the environment that he/she is in, roles are placed within his/her realm of responsibility that leads to the formation of the gender identity.

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