Interpretation Vs. Biological Fact

What is the difference between sex and gender? The correct way to distinguish the difference between these two terms is that: sex describes the biological body of an individual and gender is the interpretation of the biological differences of a person. In her article, Sex Changes and Changing Rooms, Elizabeth Challinor speaks about the misuse of the words sex and gender. In many cases, people use the term gender instead of sex. Is that because people think of the word sex and immediately think of the sexual act? Has that transformed gender into a more mainstream word? No, it is because sex can only effectively describe two categories: male and female.

The word “sex” reveals how society views males and females as completely opposite by nature. This limits us as an culture because men are not strictly just masculine and women are not just feminine. The word “gender” allows us to be more flexible when we are describing an individual because it is determined by interpretation not biological fact.

Sex has also become associated with discrimination. Same-sex marriages and different wages depending on one’s sex are big topics in society today that are affiliated with inequality. Therefore, by using the word gender, it eases one’s mind away from difficult topics and equity. In today’s world it maybe hard for an individual to determine which bathroom to use because of what they define as their gender. This spectrum of gender reveals why the “other” box on identification forms has become so important.