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When I was at school only nouns had "gender"

(8 Posts)
somebloke123 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:34:58

People just had sex.

Why the change in usage?

WMittens Wed 20-Feb-13 13:28:19

I didn't have sex when I was at school - have I missed out on something?

somebloke123 Wed 20-Feb-13 13:51:13

A pedant elaborates: Yes you did, as did I, since to have sex is the state of being male or female. I didn't have sexual intercourse though.

somebloke123 Wed 20-Feb-13 13:51:56

Sorry I meant "to be in the state of being male or female".

malinois Wed 20-Feb-13 13:57:27

Because sex and gender mean two different things. Your sex, male or female, is basically your chromosomal make-up (XX or XY). Gender is the not just the physiological, but also the behavioural characteristics that distinguish between feminine and masculine.

Simply put, sex is biological, gender is a social construct.

megandraper Wed 20-Feb-13 14:05:56

Malinois has already said what I was going to say and said it better

somebloke123 Wed 20-Feb-13 14:34:40

Thanks malinois. So it seems to me that when filling in a form, it should really ask for your sex, which is objectively determined. Instead one gets all this absurd stuff about "the gender you were assigned at birth" as if there were someone standing with the midwife arbitrarily "assigning" you a gender much as a traffic attendant at a cross channel ferry might assign your car arbitrarily to a particular lane for boarding.

malinois Wed 20-Feb-13 15:22:10

somebloke123 I've never seen a form asking for "gender assigned at birth". I've seen "sex", and I've seen "gender", although I suspect that most forms that ask for gender, really want to know your sex.

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