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Words have gender; people have sex

(6 Posts)
BellaBear Thu 28-Aug-08 17:49:38


It's possible that I could have phrased that better.

But is that right? I think it is.

AllFallDown Fri 29-Aug-08 12:45:18

Gender can be grammatical, of course. It can also, says Collins, be used to describe the whole of a sex (ie men are the male gender). But an easier way to think of it is that sex is biological, and gender is social (hence the concept of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, or LGBT). Encycopaedia Britannica says gender is "an individual's self-conception as being male or female, as distinguished from actual biological sex."

BellaBear Sat 30-Aug-08 07:41:40

so, on a form for instance, it should ask for your sex rather than your gender?

ninedragons Sat 30-Aug-08 07:50:07

Depends on the form. Entry form for the Olympics should ask genetic sex. But in a wider context it is more sensitive to ask someone's gender because that gives a pre-operation transgender woman the option of putting female even though she still has male reproductive organs.

BellaBear Sat 30-Aug-08 07:58:34

v interesting

ninedragons Sat 30-Aug-08 11:18:04

I have two transgender friends and life is hard enough for them without people assuming that just because they have penises, their brains are male too. Definitely better to ask gender.

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