Gender and Sexuality

Many people do not understand the difference between sex and gender, as others argue that there is no difference. However, most researchers argue that sex is biologically determined, and gender is culturally related.

Biological makeup distinguishes humans on a sex basis. One’s sex is genetically determined by X and Y chromosomes, where XX is for females, and XY is the genetic composition for males. This must be further verifiable through physical characteristics, including the female and male sex organs. At puberty, more distinguishing features occur, such as the development of breasts in females and beards in males. This holds true, but exceptions exist due to chromosomal defects during cell differentiation, leading to bi-sexual individuals.

Gender, on the other hand, is culturally determined. The social construction of roles and norms determine the gender of an individual and differentiate women from men (“Gender and Sexuality”, 2016). The customs of a particular group determine how a particular gender should behave, dress, act, and speak. Most cultural groups differentiate gender based on the sex of an individual.  Females are accorded feminine roles, such as child-rearing, while males are accorded masculine roles, such as the provider role. In general, gender reflects the expected behavior of a man and woman in society (Torgrimson & Minson, 2005).

Overall, the week’s readings reveal the need for a consensus between gender and sex. Researchers must agree and guide all people on the usage and specific meaning of these terms to avoid confusion.


Gender and Sexuality. (2016), 51, 609-621.

Torgrimson, B., & Minson, C. (2005). Sex and gender: what is the difference? Journal of Applied Physiology99(3), 785-787.