Sex or Gender?
Not so long ago, people would have been confused by this question. If, for example, you could travel back in time to 1923, people wouldn’t understand what you were aiming at with your question. At the time, the only use of the term ‘gender’ was in grammar. The word originates from Latin ‘genus’ (via the Old French word ‘gendre’), which means ‘kind’ or ‘sort’. In its earliest English usage, gender referred to grammatical categories that divide words into masculine, feminine, and neuter classes, mainly in languages such as German, French, Spanish, and Italian.
Things started to change, albeit very slowly, in the 1950s when the sexologist John Money introduced the distinction between biological sex and gender as a role in his work on intersex and transsexual individuals. He suggested that gender was an aspect of one's identity that could be socially constructed and conditioned, rather than being purely biologically determined. This was a revolutionary idea at the time, yet acceptance and uptake were slow to come. Continue reading....
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