Gender Has Consequences Both Profound and Trivial Term Paper

Pages: 2 (662 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

Gender Consequences

Biological sex is the physical characteristics that define a human being's body, including physical attributes and chromosomes. While the majority of people have XX or XY chromosomes, the concepts of 'male' and 'female' do not fully encompass the diversity of the human condition. Many individuals possess the characteristics of both males and females, such as hermaphrodites. Individuals may also possess combinations of the X and Y chromosomes beyond those of the traditional XX or XY pattern.

Because our cultural concepts of human bodies do not fully encompass the physical diversity of the human condition, and because very different characteristics have been attached to sex organisms regarding 'maleness' and 'femaleness' in different societies, the concept of gender has been developed. Gender refers to the cultural constructions of human sexuality, for example the stereotype that women are more emotional than males, or that males are innately more aggressive. Definitions of gender change over time and vary between cultures. While biology may affect expressions and definitions of gender, gender is not a perfect mirror of Biological diversity, given that some individual's sexuality is not clearly defined by maleness or femaleness, such as the indeterminate sex/gender status of the South African runner Caster Semenya.

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It is important to distinguish between sex and gender because it is very easy to confuse the two, given that our maleness and femaleness is usually defined as the most salient and identity-defining characteristic about ourselves from a young age. It is tempting even today to assume that a sports figures are a 'he' when referring to someone as, for example, a baseball player. Looking for gender in terms of breasts, hair length, or clothing all refer to culturally-bound characteristics and someone from a different century (such as a male wearing a toga, for example) would not necessarily meet current Western norms of gender.

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Because maleness is supposed to be superior, and more desirable to obtain, society looks more favorably upon girls who act like boys, because… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Gender Has Consequences Both Profound and Trivial."  Essaytown.com.  September 24, 2010.  Accessed July 28, 2021.
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