Sex vs.Gender

Difference Between Sex and Gender

If we are asked about the difference between sex and gender most of us may not know it because both these terms are so closely related to each other.

Gender can be defined as the set of all those characteristics and features which can differentiate a male from the female and these two sets of characteristics categorize individuals into two different sexes, male and female.

According to American Heritage® Dictionary gender is the sexual identity in terms of society and culture while sex is more of a biological term that classifies organisms on the basis of their reproductive organs. Gender is used to categories things into masculine, feminine and neuter but now it is commonly used interchangeably with the word sex.

Anthropologists have also used the word gender in cultural and social context while the word sex is used in biological context. World health organization or WHO also adapts to a similar definition. According to WHO the sex characteristics are different from gender characteristics. For example one sex characteristic of women is that they menstruate while one gender characteristic is that women do more household work than men.

Gender is the term which is used when we talk about men and women in social context while the word differentiates them biologically. For example Sex determination is illegal. We do not use the word gender here. While we say gender discrimination is not good for society.

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