•Sex is biological, it is divided into male and female based on genes and hormones,
but the hormone levels etc are variable and it becomes almost impossible to make a
neat division between male and female (like a color spectrum)
oEg. Athletes accused on being male/female based on gender testing, when
they appear to be female/male.
oEg. Sexual reassignment surgery is done at birth for individuals who are
both/neither gender definitively. 1:1000 babies are born like this: intersex
(have both male and female sex characteristics)
Thailand and Iran have the highest rate of sexual reassignment. It is
most often done at birth and often leads to individuals feeling like
they are in the wrong body. But some are preformed after puberty
when the individuals sexual identity has arisen and they can decide
what gender they would like to be
oTheorist: Butler ‘Gender is what you do rather than a universal who you are’
•Gender is socially constructed and reinforced unconsciously by our cultural
practices; it is something that we do, not something that we are.
Girls wear pink, boys wear blue. Girls play with Barbie’s, boys play
North Americans constructed two genders: man, woman, but other
cultures recognizes the existence of other genders:
Indigenous approach: existence of multiple genders including
“two spirited” people (transsexuals).
Some cultures have 32 different genders (based on the
oTheorist: Lorber‘gender is socially constructed from birth and is done by
us/imposed on us unconsciously’
oTheorist: Scott ‘gender is a social category imposed on a sexed body’
•Gender identity is not just based on being male or female, it is based on other factors
such as: race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, citizenship, age etc.