Sex, gender, and related concepts (January 14)

On January 14, we considered definitions of terms related to sex and gender. Students broke into small groups to craft definitions of sex and then gender, and then as a large group, we further defined some related terms.

These and other definitions can be found in our ever-growing course glossary.

For students interested in further exploring different aspects of gender in their own lives, I shared the Gender Unicorn handout. A similar handout: the Genderbread Person.

A screenshot of the Gender Unicorn handout

We also considered these and other questions:

  • Where does gender come from?
  • Is gender a choice?

We reflected on how gender permeates language and images in ways we may not realize, but that has significant repercussions. I referenced, for example, Emily Martin’s 1991 article “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles.”

Finally, we considered that gender doesn’t only apply to individuals. It’s also a cultural system that designates roles ad

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