The Relationship between Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

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Gender in Asia Tahia Shamsul Minor Essay AUW 080060 18th February, 2012

Q1. Critically discuss the relationship between sex, gender, and sexuality. Your discussion should address sex role socialization theory and gender as performance or doing gender. Provide examples from ‘Asia’ to support your argument. A common notion about sex is which differentiates biological and psychological characteristics and put into the categories, male and female. There are some distinctions between men and women’s biological characteristics which are identified by sex. On the other hand, Gender is more related to society and culture and often rather than biological distinctions between male and female. It is mostly refers to the roles and activities which are constructed by the society and culture and these behaviors putted gender into two categories, masculine and feminine. Gender expectations start from the moment of the birth of a child and it exists in every society. It starts with the selected color by the elders that a girl baby will wear pink and the boy baby will be suited with blue. This categorization includes the behavior also that a girl needs to be soft and polite, whereas, a boy needs to be more independent. In one side, sex determines the identity of male and female and the other side, gender determines the characteristics constructed by the society. Gender socialization is not biologically fixed, but it is ruled by the culture and often changes over time period. Our way of thinking and attitude towards other people also get shape by gender socialization. Moreover, gender identity has strong impact on people’s feeling as generally females used to be more conscious about their appearance in front of males.

Sexual orientation or sexuality describes that what are the feelings people feel about the opposite sexes, or same sexes or to both sexes.[i] (Lyness & Izenberg, 2012) It relates to the feelings of emotional and physical attractions to men, women or both sexes. Various researches describes that sexual orientation has been demonstrated culturally throughout the whole world and people use different levels to state this sexual orientation. The people who are attracted to the opposite sexes people is characterized as straight or heterosexual, the group of people who attracted to the members of same categories are called gay or homosexual, and if someone who has equal attraction for both genders is characterized as pansexual or bisexual.[ii] (Lyness & Izenberg, 2012)

There are some people who do not have any kind of physical attraction to any category but still may have emotional attachment with them considered as asexual.[iii] (Lyness & Izenberg, 2012) In past years it was thought by general people that, if a person is attracted to the same category person he or she might be a gay. This stereotype has been changed now days because a person can be interested to the same category just thinking about it or just to have sexual experience with the same sex person does not mean that he or she is homosexual. Some people may have questions about their gender; therefore they are unsure about their gender.[iv] (Sexual orientation and homosexuality, 2008)

Every person gets the sex identity from the moment of his or her birth and the categorization of gender determines the status of men or women in the society and later on sexual orientation describes that whether the person is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual. Each and every body belongs to a gender identity and according to gender identity we express our activities as masculine, feminine, both or neither. Sexual orientation is commonly discussed and...
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