Topic 2 What is sex and what is gender?

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman / man”.

*The original quote by the French philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir, referred only to the woman. We have paraphrased it by adding the man.

Simone de Beauvoir

Sex refers to a set of biological attributes in humans and animals. It is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy.

Gender refers to social norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl, or boy. It also refers to norms, behaviours and roles associated with the relationships between genders. In this sense, gender is constructed by society. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time and historical periods.

*The definition of sex was retreived from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Read the statements and select the ones which refer to gender.