Distinguishing Sex and Gender: Questions and Answers

Topics: Gender, Transgender, Gender identity Pages: 12 (1477 words) Published: October 1, 2013

The University of the South Pacific
School of Language, Arts and Media

UU114: English for Academic Purposes

Semester 1, 2011

Time Allowed: 110 minutes (1 hour 50 minutes)
Reading time: 10 minutes
Marks: 30 (15% of the Coursework)
Number of questions to be answered: ALL
Number of pages: 9 (including this page)

Task 1: Vocabulary and Critique (20 marks)

Read the article entitled “Distinguishing Sex and Gender” on the following pages, and answer Questions 1 and 2 below.

Question 1: (5 marks)

Choose ANY five from the following selection of phrases from the text and explain clearly what they mean in this context.

a. reduce discrimination and
defuse misconceptions(paragraph 2)
b. entrenched biases(paragraph 2)
c. critical ways (paragraph 3)
d. remains constant(paragraph 3)
e. constructions become infused
with cultural values(paragraph 4)
f. societal notions(paragraph 4)
g. diverge(paragraph 5)
h. conflated in the public discourse(paragraph 6)
i. incorporates several distinct elements (paragraph 7)
j. distinction (paragraph 7)

Question 1: (5 marks) Choose ANY five phrases from the text and explain clearly what they mean in the context.

1. _________________________________________________________


2. _________________________________________________________


3. _________________________________________________________


4. _________________________________________________________


5. _________________________________________________________


Question 2: (15 marks)

Re-read the article and write a sound critique of it in no more than 300 words. Adapted from Rose McDermott and Peter K. Hatemi, “Distinguishing Sex and Gender”, an article in the journal Political Science & Politics, volume 44, issue 01, January 2011, pp. 89-92. 1

Despite its importance for many public policy choices, the majority of scholarship in political science does not adequately distinguish, either theoretically or methodologically, between the concepts of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. We begin by noting that this topic is emotionally tinged and fraught with the kinds of difficulties that accompany any attempt to apply categories to identity. While recognizing that one’s identity is highly individual and personal and that individuals should always have the full range of freedom to choose their multitudinous identities, it can nonetheless prove useful to analytically distinguish between a few categories—such as sex and gender—to allow more precise scholarship and further public discussion in hopes of producing more humane public policies. 2

In this article, we review the literature across disciplines to suggest ways that political scientists might benefit by taking account of important biological distinctions in addition to cultural factors regarding sex, gender, and sexuality in their research. This article seeks to clarify these concepts and the sources of individual difference across these domains in an effort to help reduce discrimination and defuse misconceptions, stereotypes, and imposed social roles. The assumption underlying our review is that the more that science learns about sex, how it overlaps but differs from gender, and the ways in which sexuality emanates in large part from innate sources, the more likely it is that public opinion and elite discourse will shift in a more tolerant and positive direction. We believe that it would be fruitful for us as a discipline to better communicate this research to the...

Bibliography: and it appeared on page 3 of the newspaper The Australian on Monday
March 9, 2009.
d. In the Fiji Times Online there appeared on March 18, 2011 an article by
Frederica Elbourne entitled Quake advice
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