Sex, Gender and the Difference

Generally, people tend to look at sex and gender as the same thing. In actuality, there is a difference between the two and there is still a huge lack of awareness about this despite several studies existing in its support.

Sex distinguishes people on the basis of biological features such as chromosomes, hormones, sex organs, and other physical traits, while also taking into account the small proportion of the population born as intersex with both characteristics. Gender, on the other hand, distinguishes women and men depending on social and cultural factors each of them has been traditionally known to perform, like social roles, behaviors, positions in society, and identities.

Therefore, transgender people are those whose gender identity or expression is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. While cisgender denotes people whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people can identify as men, women, and non-binary (along with a vast number of other identities such as agender, gender fluid, genderqueer, etc.), meaning they fall somewhere in between, identify as both or don’t relate to either gender identity at all. Gender dysphoria or a profound sense of discomfort and unease with the assigned gender at birth is often associated with trans people and can be debilitating, emotionally, and physically draining to those who have it. This in itself shows how important recognition and acknowledgment of trans identities as legitimate is.

Licensed physiologist Dr. Liz Powell described gender as someone’s own internal understanding about whether they are a man, woman, something in between, or none of those things. Clearly, it can be seen with absolute clarity that trans identities are valid. In fact, they have existed throughout history and across regions and cultures.

Gender roles though are socially constructed. The logic behind this reasoning is of course well-founded and based on breaking down the set binary construction of society. One’s sex, which often coincides with gender, does not define our capability to excel or pursue a certain field. Essentially what this means is that there is no correlation between the biology of males and females that leads to certain qualities presenting as either typically feminine or masculine. Rather it is the social conditioning right from childhood that causes a characteristic to be commonly possessed by women or men. Why can’t a woman be a knight in shining armor and a man a bachelor in distress? Men should and can be sensitive and gentle while women can be brave and analytical. Claiming that biology causes these distinctions is inaccurate.

The division of labor on the basis of sex is founded on ideological presumptions. Pregnancy is the only biological process in which women have more of a role to play in the life of a child. The rest of the domestic work expected to be done by them, for example raising the child can be done as easily by men. Going out and working can come as naturally to women as men and therefore setting up such rigid gender-based boundaries is harmful not just in the sense that it prohibits women from becoming financially independent but also directly impacts their standing in society, which is inevitably lowered. 

Evidently, the subordination of those who identify as women or are pre-social transition is not due to their sex but due to the cultural view of their gender. In essence, what I’m trying to say is that behavioral and psychological variances rather than biological, have social causes. A good explanation of this is when Simone de Beauvoir stated that one is not born, but rather becomes a woman, and that “social discrimination produces in women moral and intellectual effects so profound that they appear to be caused by nature”.

In conclusion, gender and sex are noticeably different and awareness must be raised about the same. The fact that gender dysphoria and trans identities exist should reach across societal divisions because no one should lead a life feeling out of tune with themselves simply because society is too bigoted to accept them.

Trans men are real men, trans women are real women, non-binary people are completely valid, and gender roles are mere tools of oppression. These obvious facts do not care about your feelings! (Yes, I’m talking to you, Ben Shapiro)