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Image retrieved from http://www.flaticon.com/free-icon/male-and-female-symbols_63756

If you went on the internet right now and searched “gender,” you would find that gender and sex are often used as synonyms, but this is incorrect. Gender and sex have similarities, but they are not the same concept. Gender is defined as, “either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural roles and behavior” (“Gender”). Whereas sex is, “either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated with reference to the reproductive functions” (“Sex”). In other words, both refer to the state of being a man or a woman, but sex refers to biological anatomy and gender refers to cultural differences. These concepts may not aline with some individuals because of society’s views of what is masculine and feminine. For example, it is feminine for a woman to like shopping and masculine for a man to like sports. In modern society, a “normal” man or woman displays the same gender and sexual characteristics. Man= male body+ masculine personality. Woman= female body+feminine personality. However, not many people fit into society’s version of a man or woman. I, for example, do not completely fit a female role. I am physically female, but not exert aspect of my personality are feminine. Some traits often associated with females include “quiet, graceful, dependent, sensitive, and accepting” (Parenthood). I can say that I am a loud, clumsy, and independent person. However, I would also say that I am a sensitive and accepting person. Just as I, a woman, do not meet society’s expectations, there are also men who do not. The most accepting and sensitive person I know happens to be a male. It is impossible for all people to meet these unrealistic expectations. Everyone has a different personality, and that is what makes humanity so special. A female does not have to be “feminine,” and a male does not have to be “masculine.” These terms were created by society to define people and create barriers. I hope that one day these barriers can be broken down.


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