Gender and Sexuality Terms Defined and Explained
PARTA: Defining male and female: sex and gender
1.Sex: refers to being born with distinct male or female ge（（（（（iaand a genetic
program that releases either male or female hormon（荷尔蒙） to stimulate the
development of one’s reproductive syst（生殖系尔） .
2. Gender: encompasses the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors that are associated with
being male or female as conventionally understood.
Being male or female involves not just biology but also certain “masculine” and
“feminine” feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.
3. Gender identity: refers to identification with, or a sense of belongings to , a
particular sex, biologically, psychologically, and socially.
4. Gender role: comprise the repertoir（（ ) of behaviors that match widely shared
expectations about how males and females are supposed to act.
When people behave according to widely shared expectations about how males or
females are supposed to act, they adopt a gender role.
5. Transgender: People are transgendered when their gender identity does not exactly
match the sex assigned to the at birth.
They blur widely accepted gender roles by , for example, cross-dressing.
6. Transsexual: identify with the opposite sex from that assigned to them at birth,
causing them to change their appearance or resort to a sex-change operation.
PART B: Sexuality
1. Sexuality: involves actions that are intended to produce erotic （（（（sa) and
genital response生殖的反尔 )
2. Sexual scripts: are assumptions that guide sexual behaviour by telling us whom
we should find attractive, when and where it is appropriate to be aroused, what is
sexually permissible, and so on.
Men are usually expected to be the sexual aggressors, typically more experienced
and promiscuous than women are.
Women are assumed to be sexually passive, giving only subtle cues to indicate their
interest in male overtures. 3. Compulsory Heterosexuality: is the assumption that individuals should desire
only members of the “opposite” sex.
The assumption of heterosexuality has negative implications for non-heterosexuals
because heterosexuality is based on unequal economic, political, legal, and social
relations between women and men.
PART C: Sexual attitudes and behaviour
I. Sexual Orientation and Queer Theory
1. Sexual Orientation: refers to the way a person derives sexual pleasure, including
whether desirable partners are of the same or a different sex.
(Sexual orientation is an enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic§ or
sexual§ attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex§ or gender§, the same
sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender)
2. Queer Theory:denies the existence of stable sexual orientations and argues that when
we use terms like “heterosexual”, “gay”, “lesbian,” and so on, we are adopting official
or at least socially acceptable labels that fail to capture the fluidity and variability of
people’s actual identities and performances.
PART D: Does Sex Determine Destiny?
Origins of gender differences in human behaviour: two perspectives: Essentialism and
I. Essentialism: first observe male-female differences in sexual scripts, the division
of labor at home and in the workplace, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy,
promiscuity, fidelity, and so on. They then interpret these differences as natural
Essentialism has many variants, here are three of the most popular variants:
1) Brain Studies:
Male-female differences in brain structure give rise to male-female differences in
behavior and achievement.
a) Left and right hemispheres of the brain: The left hemisphere is generally
associated with language abilities, the right with non-verbal perception and visual and
b) Use of the right hemisphere becomes dominant in men. Men have relatively better
mathematics, artistic musical and visual-spatial abilities.
c) Use of the left hemisphere becomes dominant in women. Women use the
hemispheres more symmetrically, giving them an edge in feelings, intuition, language
skills and quick judgment. 2) Sociobiology:
a) Defined: Sociobiology is a variant of essentialism. It holds that all human beings
instinctually want to ensure that their genes get passed on to future generati