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OT: sex/gender

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Saturday, October 18, 2003, 14:03
Paul Bennett wrote at 2003-10-17 21:16:52 (-0400)
> Well, the first antithetical part was that only "sex" refers to > biological sex. It doesn't. Every dictionary I've consulted says > that "gender" refers to biological sex as well as grammatical sex > and social/mental sex. One even went so far as to say it's only > recently (for suitable values of the word "recent") starting to > become used for social/mental sex. > As I understand the history of the term, _gender_ was commonly only used to refer to the grammatical category until the 19th-20th century, when it came to be used as a more "polite" alternative to _sex_. The division of _sex_ and _gender_ into biological and social/psychological aspects respectively is indeed somewhat more recent. The words are in this sense essentially technical terms as used by anthropologists and social theorists. Obviously this distinction is rarely observed in ordinary discourse; however, it seems reasonable to employ it in a discussion where you are, in fact, distinguishing between these senses.


Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>