Gender and Sex: Which one is Responsible for Inequality in Society?

Although sex and gender are two different terms but most of people consider them as same and interchangeable. If we critically think about these terms we will come to know that they are quite different from each other. So, to distinguishing between these both words I would like to share the origin and definition of these both terms. According to Christian the origin of ‘gender’; “the word gender comes from Middle English, which in turn came from the Latin word genus, meaning, ‘kind’, ‘type’ or ‘sort’.” So the actual meaning of gender is kind or a type but the controversial thing is that what kind? Or what type? The description of ‘kind’ is varies from culture to culture that’s why its definition is not specific. Furthermore the roots of sex also generate from “Middle English” meaning, “section or divide” (Nordquist). The word section talks about the natural sections found in the body of any individual. According to these natural sections or innate properties all creatures are divided into two different sex groups.

 According to Longman Dictionary ‘sex’ means “the condition of been male and female or one of the two groups of people or animal.” Mostly people define sex in terms of human beings but it’s clear from this definition animal or even plants have also sex. Sex is entirely natural and in terms of Biology we can recognize between different sex groups while examining the morphology and anatomy of individuals. The female is distinguished as a female by examining her genital organs and same is for a man. In case of animals we also make a distinction between animals by exploring their genital organs and same is for the plants. According to Longman Dictionary ‘gender’ means “the system in some languages of dividing nouns, adjectives and pronouns into MESCULINE, FEMININE and NEUTER.”  At this moment, it is clear that gender has nothing with nature rather it talks about the language or the culture. As we all know that culture is varying from place to place and according to the cultural norms the qualities of gender also varies from society to society. In each society woman and man are expected to do certain activities and from very beginning they are supposed to do those activities which are specify by society. For instance, household work, jobs, clothes even the way of talking and walking.

Consequently, we cannot deny that sex is natural but we cannot say that gender is innate proper of any individual rather it is define by the group of people to make discrimination between different sex groups. As a result gender cause inequality between the members same species in different societies. 

Work citation

Christian Nordqvist. “What Is The Difference Between Sex And Gender?.” Medical News            Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 5 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.              <;

 “Gender” Longman Dictionary of American English. 2006

“Sex” Longman Dictionary of American English. 2006



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