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Relationship Between Sex And Gender Essay

2114 words - 8 pages

“Men and women’s roles have changed so much that there is no longer any difference.”

The relationship that exists between gender and sex has been the root cause of global gender

movements and issues that exists in the contemporary world. The representation of masculinity

and femininity is humanly constructed and sets the stage for social expectation. Social institutions

are designed to cater for the desired gender role that is based on the foundations of traditional

social norms. Norms change over time and space and are influenced by the cultural and social

environment and movements. The theory of gender and its relation to sex, power, femininity and

masculinity are detailed first followed by two case studies that prove gender inequality and gender

construction in an organized context.

The concept of gender refers to the assigned roles that are compatible to an individual’s biological

sex. They comprise of full filling the ideologies and attitudes that are demonstrated by a male or

female. It is the “genetic characteristics that make a child biologically a girl also contribute

significantly to making her feminine and boys are given their masculine traits” (O’Sullivan, p4).

In emphasizing the gender theory it has evolved into a social phenomenon “gender is what we

think of as normally masculine or feminine” (O’Sullivan, p4).

The theory of sex,is determined by the biological formation of a human being, the word sex refers

“to the collection of biological features that result in female and male” (O’Sullivan, p2). The cultural

and social interactions often impact the representation of sex by way of allowing this concept to

create gender roles.

Feminist movements are established on the basis of creating equality amongst the assigning

process of gender roles. The issue of discrimination within the establishments of gender allocation

has been controversial and excruciating. Sex differences are apparent though the means in which

it’s applied to social norms are abnormal and humanly created, therefore it can be changed. “There

are no ‘natural’ differences between men and women; all such differences are socially created,

hence artificial, and would vanish in a society with equality between men and women” (Hakim,


Power, as Michael Foucault states is a function which operates unnoticeably within social

institutions and directly impacts social expectations. The assigned gender roles are fundamental to

adherence as it determines an individual’s acceptance in society or risk being an outcast. Michael

Foucault’s theory on power is that “if you do not behave within a gendered norm, then you may be

seen as an outcast. The unfortunate truth is that historically (and even today) men and women who

failed to meet these norms were the victims of abuse even violence” (Arvantikas, J p74).

Case studies have been provided to...

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