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Human Understandings of Gender and Sex Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2021

Human understandings of gender and sex have been evolving over the past two centuries. Since 1970, many young people have been developing new concepts and ideas about the concept of gender. These new understandings have led to the evolution of the term, thereby encouraging different individuals to undertake social roles, responsibilities, and activities that would have been identified as inappropriate. This reflection paper describes the outstanding distinctions between gender and sex.

Sex and Gender: Distinctions

Sex and gender are two terms that many scholars use interchangeably. However, Woods (2017) defines “gender” as a social construct that determines how individuals view themselves. Experts use conceptions of functions, roles, and tasks attributed to women and men to understand gender positions. The term focuses on females and males in an attempt to understand their unique expectations and interests. The concept is expanded further to describe the ethnic background, wealth, age, and health. However, researchers use the word “sex” to refer to the existing biological differences between women and men. The concept also denotes the presence of mobile gametes in males and immobile ones in women. People can determine sex by examining the absence or presence of Y chromosomes.

Personal Observations

The completed class materials have equipped me with new ideas about the above concepts and their differences. I understand that sex can be subdivided into these two categories: men and women. I also acknowledge that there are individuals who should be labeled as transgender. This is the reason why some countries allow members of this third sex type to pursue their interests.

I currently have a broad knowledge of gender. I identify it by focusing on the positions, roles, careers, and expectations of different individuals. For example, the term dictates the hierarchies of men and women in their respective societies. In many regions, men tend to monitor the directions of their families. People can use the term to analyze the existing differences among females and males based on wealth or age.

Examples of Gender and Sex

I have engaged in different conversations revolving around the concepts of sex and gender. For example, there was a time when I was discussing with my relatives the distinctions between the two concepts. I observed that the majority of them had a clear knowledge of sex. However, I noted that they used gender to refer to the biological differences existing between females and males. This is a clear indication that such terms were being applied incorrectly.

The reasoning behind such an argument is that there is a significant difference between gender and sex. I also had conversations with professionals in the fields of sociology and psychology. Such experts understood the meanings of gender and sex and used them correctly. They also defined sex using the unique features possessed by men and women. This means that the two terms were being applied appropriately.

I have viewed different television programs and movies in an attempt to understand the differences between gender and sex. For example, the film, “She’s the Man” narrates the story of a young girl who joins her brother’s learning institution. She pretends to be a boy in an attempt to join the school’s soccer team. From this film, I observed that Viola Hastings’ sex of that of a female. However, she managed to pursue a duty that was associated with boys and men. The video revealed that the concept of gender roles was changing in different parts of the world. Although women’s sexes remain unchanged, their duties have merged with those of men (Woods, 2017). The applications of these terms in such observations, films, and programs are correct since they focus on all the key aspects associated with them.

The lesson for Young Children

My proposed lesson targets children aged between 12 and 15 years. The first aspect of the plan is the definition of sex. The learners will be encouraged to give their views about the concept. The lesson will then define sex as biological and physical differences. Diagrammatic representations of reproductive systems will also be helpful throughout the learning period. The next section will focus on the definition of gender. Learners will be enlightened about the differences between these two terms. The idea of gender will be discussed using social functions and family positions. Changes experienced in the definition of gender roles will also be described. Finally, the learners will have to complete several assignments.

Importance

All people need to have a clear distinction between these towns. This kind of knowledge can guide them to pursue diverse careers and roles that fulfill their goals. It will also ensure that young people are prepared for the technological and career changes experienced in the world today (“Study finds,” n.d.). More people will also be willing to fight for gender equality.

Conclusion

The above personal reflection has revealed that people use sex and gender used interchangeably. Sex denotes the biological and physical differences existing between females and males. Gender is a socially constructed term focusing on people’s social responsibilities and duties. It is, therefore, appropriate for people to have a proper understanding of these distinctions to minimize stereotypes and pursue their career goals.

References

Study finds gender brain differences. (n.d.). Bloomberg News, p. A36.

Woods, J. T. (2017). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, and culture (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publication.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Human Understandings of Gender and Sex." July 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-understandings-of-gender-and-sex/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Human Understandings of Gender and Sex'. 8 July.

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