What is the Difference between Sex and Gender?
Basically, the difference between sex and gender is that ‘sex‘ is a biological concept based on biological characteristics: Male and Female. On the other hand, ‘gender’ is primarily deals with personal, societal and cultural perceptions of sexuality. The concept of gender is more based on the societal constructions.
Photo credit: addictionsresearchtraining. ca
Maybe some of you are wondering why it does even matter? It really matters if you want to understand the preferences of people and their sexual orientation. If you want to embrace everyone from every walk of life in your social circle and in the world. It should matter for those who wish to be a person of the world. To understand the difference between sex and gender brings respect and understanding together, and avoid sexism, sexist behaviours, and sexist mindset.
So… Let’s see what sexism is and its connection with the two terms: ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’.
What is Sexism? Why do You Think People First Think about Women When We say Sexism?
Sexism, with its simplest term means prejudice or discrimination based on sex and gender as well as behaviours, conditions or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.
Sexism can affect anyone primarily including women. The notion that sexism in the world follows women from the cradle to the workplace. Moreover, sexism brings about gender discrimination and it encompasses discrimination towards people targeting their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Even though the victims of sexism are primarily women, sexism is an inclusive umbrella term that affect women, men, children, LGBTQ+ community, and so on.
It is a fact that sexism is more based on societal constructions, and i would like to give you an example from my own hometown. In Turkey, even colours are linked with gender discrimination in many spheres of life such as work labor, family, sex of a person, identity card, clothes and so forth.
Even Colours Can Cause Discrimination
Yes, even the colours can cause gender discrimination. In most cases, we do not realise it, but the way we react to people can also be sexist, too.
Some people do not even care about others’ feelings and preferences. If a man wears a pink shirt, he can be exposed to some kinds of sexist behaviours and words like : ”Does a man wear something pink? ”, ”Are you a man?” ”Be like a man” ” Why are you wearing like a girl? ”.
Photo credit: Pixabay
These kind of sexist behaviours are most probably a reflection of how we are raised by our family and our society.
An example from Turkish families: If a family is waiting for the birth of their child, one of the most-discussed issues is the sex of the baby: Is the baby male or female? WHY?
Photo credits: Pixabay
The reason is the choice of colours before the baby’s birth! If the sex of the baby is female , the family tends to buy pink clothes and pinkish presents for her while blue-coloured clothes and gifts are bought bought for males, which symbolises a long-established tradition in the society.
Sexism is rooted in our minds and we all should take our blinders off!
PS: On Friday, January 11, I will be talking more about gender discrimination.