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Photo of Chaz Bono in a suit and tie
Chaz Bono is the transgender son of Cher and Sonny Bono. While he was born female, he considers himself male. Being transgender is not about clothing or hairstyles; it is about self-perception. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hernandez/flickr)

Summary

The terms “sex” and “gender” refer to two different identifiers. Sex denotes biological characteristics differentiating males and females, while gender denotes social and cultural characteristics of masculine and feminine behavior. Sex and gender are not always synchronous. Individuals who strongly identify with the opposing gender are considered transgender.

Short answer

Why do sociologists find it important to differentiate between sex and gender? What importance does the differentiation have in modern society?

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How is children’s play influenced by gender roles? Think back to your childhood. How “gendered” were the toys and activities available to you? Do you remember gender expectations being conveyed through the approval or disapproval of your playtime choices?

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Further research

For more information on gender identity and advocacy for transgender individuals see the Global Action for Trans Equality web site at (External Link) .

References

American Psychological Association (APA). 2008. “Answers to Your Questions: For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality.” Washington, DC. Retrieved January 10, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

American Psychiatric Association. 2013. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Caldera, Yvonne, Aletha Huston, and Marion O’Brien. 1998. “Social Interactions and Play Patterns of Parents and Toddlers with Feminine, Masculine, and Neutral Toys.” Child Development 60(1):70–76.

Case, M.A. 1995. "Disaggregating Gender from Sex and Sexual Orientation: The Effeminate Man in the Law and Feminist Jurisprudence." Yale Law Journal 105(1):1–105.

Drescher, J. 2010. “Queer diagnoses: Parallels and contrasts in the history of homosexuality, gender variance, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Archives of Sexual Behavior.” 39: 427–460.

Freedom to Marry, Inc. 2014. "History and Timeline of the Freedom to Marry in the United States | Freedom to Marry.” Retrieved November 11, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Giovanniello, Sarah. 2013. "NCAVP Report: 2012 Hate Violence Disproportionately Target Transgender Women of Color." GLAAD. N.p., Retrieved October 10, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Herek, G. M. 1990. “The Context of Anti-Gay Violence: Notes on Cultural and Psychological Heterosexism." Journal of Interpersonal Violence . 5: 316–333.

Jacobs, Sue-Ellen, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang. 1997. Two Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality . Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

J.E.B. v. Alabama , 144 S. Ct. 1436 (1994).

Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. 1998 [1948]. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Moi, T. 2005. Sex, Gender and the Body . New York: Oxford University Press.

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. 2010. “Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States.” Retrieved January 10, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Poasa, Kris. 1992. “The Samoan Fa’afafine: One Case Study and Discussion of Transsexualism.” Journal of Psychology&Human Sexuality 5(3):39–51.

Ryle, Robyn. 2011. Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Sears, Brad and Christy Mallory. 2011. "Documented Evidence of Employment Discrimination&Its Effects on LGBT People." Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute. Retrieved December 12, 2014 ( (External Link) )

Sedgwick, Eve. 1985. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire . New York: Columbia University Press.

Questions & Answers

Please help me about religious perspectives on gender development
Hafeez Reply
Religious dimension of gender development
Hafeez
outline the condition in europe during the 18th and 19th centuries that contributed to the development of sociology
ARCHIBOLD Reply
Why do people deviate from societal norm
lucky Reply
discuss five factors that contributed to the emergence of sociology as an academic discipline
Evans Reply
why is there an increase in education in zambia
Caroline Reply
What is sociology
Celestina Reply
sociology is the study of groups and their way of interaction in the society
lucky
discuss the roles the family has failed as a primary agent of socialisation?
Lotyang Reply
the family has failed as a primary agent of socialisation because it has not been able to inculcate the needed values to bring unity in the society
Damba
please what are the stages in social movement
faith Reply
social movement is the movement where people gathered and keep their own demand to fullfill it social movement generally casus by name of women,untouchbility,dominance in the country
unknown
it also cause in emergence and decline of devlopment then aslo social movement causes generally
unknown
stages in social movement involved people's coming together for the means of interaction and for the welfare of the society
lucky
what is the overview of sociology
Simon Reply
factors that led to the emergence of sociology as an academic discipline
Evans
group life. historical dominancy. cultural variability, complex way of life. social classes and social crisis
Waqar
 The rise and development of sociology is based on political, economic, demographic, social and scientific changes.
Mohamed
sociology is the study of society and their behaviors and also their culture
anwar
theories of sociology
abdinur
sociology is the study of human behaviour
Sahara
sociology is the scientific study of behavioural perspective of human being towards their environmental change, cultural reliability, and all sphere of social value, norms that exhibit their socialisation in the society.
omotunde
question please? why do people deviate from societal norm
lucky
people violate the social rules and norms because they are incapable of been meet up with the societal goals. They lack means of achieving societal means to achieve societal goals.
omotunde
people deviate in society because of they belief and characters .
Ahafianyo
social issues faced in India
Alan Reply
poverty untouchbility corruption child marraige overpopulation all this are the big issues of social in india:)
unknown
reservation system, polluted politics, people's exploration, illiteracy, etc.
what did August comte(1798-1857) say about social dynamics?
elia Reply
what is a monogamous family?
Basu Reply
family or marriage ?
asad
what is a monogamous family?
Basu
?
asad
What is family
Sukhjit Reply
family is type of relationship in this it deals with positive and negative tearms and conditions
unknown
who's a sociologist
Denis Reply
family is a group of people who are lived under one roof and they have a biological relation.
what is the origin and development of sociology?
namiak Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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