• Anonymys
    91
    "the state of being male or female." according to Websters Dictionary, this is "Gender".

    "either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions." According to Websters Dictionary, this is "Sex"


    Whats the difference? And what do you think of this issue in the American society vs other countries?


    P.S.
    I prompt this question because I have an acquaintance that loves to shove that fact that "gender doesn't exist, and neither does men or woman" she is gay and a proclaimed feminist. It has always annoyed me that she loves to shove this in peoples faces, and so I just wanted to know if her proclamations are based on fact? Or just a deranged individual looking for attention.

  • prothero
    165
    There are the physical features and/or reproductive organs one has which is not always binary (true hermaphrodites, psuedo-hermaphrodites and other variations of nature for example).

    Then there is the psychological identity or sexual identification one has.
    Gender could be taken to be a psychological state whereas sex could be taken to be the physical features but I don't think these terms are understood or used exclusively in that sense. The whole issue has become somewhat complicated of late.
  • Anonymys
    91
    I updated my OP, anything you would like to add?
  • prothero
    165
    Well many are rejecting the traditional binary sexual or gender identity categories. On facebook one has the following options.
    The following are the 58 gender options identified by ABC News:

    Agender
    Androgyne
    Androgynous
    Bigender
    Cis
    Cisgender
    Cis Female
    Cis Male
    Cis Man
    Cis Woman
    Cisgender Female
    Cisgender Male
    Cisgender Man
    Cisgender Woman
    Female to Male
    FTM
    Gender Fluid
    Gender Nonconforming
    Gender Questioning
    Gender Variant
    Genderqueer
    Intersex
    Male to Female
    MTF
    Neither
    Neutrois
    Non-binary
    Other
    Pangender
    Trans
    Trans*
    Trans Female
    Trans* Female
    Trans Male
    Trans* Male
    Trans Man
    Trans* Man
    Trans Person
    Trans* Person
    Trans Woman
    Trans* Woman
    Transfeminine
    Transgender
    Transgender Female
    Transgender Male
    Transgender Man
    Transgender Person
    Transgender Woman
    Transmasculine
    Transsexual
    Transsexual Female
    Transsexual Male
    Transsexual Man
    Transsexual Person
    Transsexual Woman
    Two-Spirit
  • John Harris
    248

    Loosely, sex refers to the person's biological sex organs and gender refers to how the person sexually identifies themselves.
  • John Harris
    248
    Gender could be taken to be a psychological state whereas sex could be taken to be the physical features but I don't think these terms are understood or used exclusively in that sense.

    Gender isn't a psychological "state.' it's an identity of each person they have 24/7 unless it changes. That's like saying being Gay or Straight are psychological states. They're not.
  • Anonymys
    91
    Gender isn't a psychological "state.' it's an identity of each person they have 24/7 unless it changes.John Harris

    But let's say, "I'm straight" that's not something that's gonna change, I'm either straight or I'm not. So I don't understand why it would change. Is it based on the weather? "it's sunny today, so I like men", "it's rainy today, I like pots" I feel as though people, like my acquaintance in the OP, who openly state that gender is fluid, is like saying that weather doesn't have its purposes. I believe Weather, much like our gender, are set so that you know what to call rain, or wind, or storm, just as you call male or female or "both".
  • prothero
    165
    People's sexual identity can vary over time, so I think gender not only is not binary but it also represents a psychological state, you are free to disagree.
  • Anonymys
    91

    58 gender options identified by ABC Newsprothero


    Thank you for that, made me chuckle
  • John Harris
    248
    But let's say, "I'm straight" that's not something that's gonna change, I'm either straight or I'm not

    Of course it can change. Many Gay people thought they were Straight for a long time and even married and had children before they realized they were Gay and became actively Gay.
  • Anonymys
    91
    People's sexual identity can vary over time, so I think gender not only is not binary but it also represents a psychological state, you are free to disagree.prothero

    It's not so much that I disagree, it's just more of I don't fully understand
  • Anonymys
    91

    Of course it can change. Many Gay people thought they were Straight for a long time and even married and had children before they realized they were Gay and became actively Gay.John Harris
    I just meant for me personally
  • John Harris
    248
    People's sexual identity can vary over time, so I think gender not only is not binary but it also represents a psychological state, you are free to disagree.

    Then you must think your being Straight or Gay is a psychological state, since that could change over time, too. So, you are misusing the term "psychological state."
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    We can have sex with any gender but we can't have gender with any sex.
  • John Harris
    248
    John Harris I just meant for me personally
    Of course it can change. Many Gay people thought they were Straight for a long time and even married and had children before they realized they were Gay and became actively Gay.
    — John Harris

    But we weren't just talking about you personally, so you were wrong to correct me.
  • Anonymys
    91
    But let's say, "I'm straight" that's not something that's gonna change, I'm either straight or I'm not.Anonymys

    I was making an example of myself, I wasn't making a metaphorical person up, I was literally saying that I'm straight, and that is not going to change
  • John Harris
    248
    Gender isn't a psychological "state.' it's an identity of each person they have 24/7 unless it changes.
    — John Harris

    But let's say, "I'm straight" that's not something that's gonna change, I'm either straight or I'm not. So I don't understand why it would change. Is it based on the weather?

    Don't lie. Above you are clearly criticizing my claim that if gender is a psychological state, being Gay and Straight are, too....and not just you. Because I certainly wasn't just talking about you.
  • Anonymys
    91
    No, really, I was using myself as an example for the purpose of the question
  • prothero
    165
    Then you must think your being Straight or Gay is a psychological state, since that could change over time, too. So, you are misusing the term "psychological state."John Harris

    I am afraid you need to expound or elaborate on that. People often change their mind (psychological state) over time, especially younger people, about their gender identification, many do not.
  • John Harris
    248
    Go away. I don't talk to people who don't debate/discuss in good faith.
  • John Harris
    248
    I don't have to expound or elaborate on anything. Do you think being Gay or Straight is a psychological state?
  • Anonymys
    91
    I don't usually talk to argumentative......... but here we are. Don't let your pride get in the way of what you really see, you and I both know that I clearly used myself as an example
  • John Harris
    248
    And I was talking about all people, not just you, and that was what you addressed. Don't let your pride and obtuseness keep you from seeing that.
  • John Harris
    248
    And that's the last post of yours I read, Mr. Argumentative.
  • Anonymys
    91
    You spelled my tag wrong
  • prothero
    165
    It is not that simple. I don't wish to give the impression it is solely a matter of choice, and I don't refer to "psychological state" to mean it is necessarily a conscious decision or a decision that does not have neurological correlates. I merely mean to point out that one's physical characteristics are not always concordant with one;s gender identification and that a binary model is inadequate for human behavior..
  • John Harris
    248
    The only one is making it difficult is you. Do you or do you not think being Gay or being Straight is a psychological State. A simple yes or no question. If you can't answer that, what you said about gender being a "psychological state" becomes inevitably wrong.
  • prothero
    165
    This is not a courtroom, it is a philosophy forum and these types of questions do not lend themselves to a simple yes or no question. I think sexual preferences or or sexual fetishes have a strong subconscious component (i.e. are not conscious choices), and there is some evidence of differences in the structure of the brain. So gender identity (much less sexual behavior) is both psychological and physical and not necessarily fixed in the manner you imply. It seems you feel you are here to win arguments and not necessarily to try to understand other points of view. The range of variation in physical sexual features is complicated enough much less peoples gender identification. Is gender identification, in your view, mental or physical, or both?
  • John Harris
    248
    Sorry, then if Gay and Straight aren't psychological states, then there's no way gender can be, since all of those can change.

    And stop with the ad hominem attacks; they're very childish.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    Many people think their sexual orientation is natural -- it's a given of nature, whether they are gay or straight. You say (correctly) that some presumably straight people discover that they are actually gay. I don't believe any of the many gay men I know have discovered they were actually straight. (I'm not considering bisexuality here, at the moment.)
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