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Sociology – Engendering Sex and Gender:

Provide a summary review of the article in the link above in detail and critically evaluate article content

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Answer: The Research Paper

Over the years the society has accorded the terms “sex” and “gender” the same meaning despite the fact that they have distinctively different meanings. Different perspectives interpret the two terms “sex and gender” differently, ranging from the general popular opinion to the sociological perspective and finally the biological interpretation. Society has for a long time presumed that sex consists of only two categories namely male and female. Gender also has consequently got based on the two categories of sex and society recognizes two types of gender namely men and women. The social norm has always enjoined sex and gender and therefore only the two types of gender exist, derived from the two categories of sex (Rascoff, 2015).

Research, however, gives a newer dimension to the general social opinion on sex and gender by introducing the concept of the social construction of sex and gender besides the normal biological construction. Facebook, for instance, gave revised options of gender categories to include up to fifty-nine categories of gender while society knows of only two categories. The one additional category added by Facebook (the previous year had fifty-eight slots) is in the form of a blank space, and the individual has the option of filling in their preferred gender details. Facebook pulls apart sex, gender, and sexual orientation as three distinct concepts based on the sociological analysis. Sex includes the physical traits of a person; gender involves the social component of the individual while sexual orientation revolves around the sexual occurrence of the individual. Modern biologists have departed from the notion that sex exists in dichotomy, either male XY or female XX.  Most scientists have increasingly embraced the concept of intersex but regard them as Disorders of Sex Differences (DSD) due to their rare occurrences.

The article under review displays the general social norms, perception, and social inclination towards the notion of sex, gender and sexual orientation existing as one vividly. The occurrence of intersex in one out of one thousand births remains an unconvincing statistic, but society needs to get rid of the misconceptions surrounding intersex cases. Science distinguishes the two known sex categories to society and gives the third category as a disorder or deviance that has got wide acceptance. Mutation and several other biological factors might propel the increase in the number of intersex cases, and society needs to get embraced for this. The first step is to depart from the retrogressive way of thinking that only accounts for two sex categories.

When it comes to gender, the article suggests the idea that an individual should be allowed to categorize themselves as male, female, or some other gender they fell they belong in. This is in line with the argument that it is out of order to compel people into being either male or female. The fact that Facebook added a new category in which an individual may fill their own preferred gender details implies that even more categories of gender may arise as time goes by. It is necessary that society gives room for these range of identities that may not correspond to the established male and female ideas.

Society should embrace the empirical evidence presented by science and subscribe to the intersex category. Also, there remains need to separate the three concepts of sex, gender, and sexual orientation as they do not mean the same thing. Society should not be hasty in dismissing the definition of sexuality given by science that departs from the initial concept of the dichotomy of traits. The narrow spectrum of the definition of sex as either becoming a boy or a girl should change. Sexual orientation also varies depending on the genetic make-up and the hormones. The new developments in science bring a whole new perspective in defining sex, gender and sexual orientation that is better than the current definition. The new approach gives a more precise definition by setting the three concepts on different paths.


Raskoff, S. (2015). “Engendering sex and gender”. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. Retrieved January 7, 2016 from

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