Sex and Gender across Cultures

Sexand Gender across Cultures

Thewords sex and gender are used in place of each other yet they referto the same thing. However, the two have totally different meaningsacross different cultures. Sex refers to the biological aspects of acreature such as gonads, hormones, sex chromosomes and thereproductive organs. The sex of a person is clear upon birth. On theother hand, gender is more complicated (Campo-Arias 2010). It refersto physical attributes of an individual and relationships withothers. This paper demonstrates the usage the two words are givenmeaning across different cultures.

Asan individual grows from a child to an adult, they experience changesin their bodies. This transformation is more clearly evident inteenage. During that time, young people try to find an identity amongtheir peers. Gender identity manifests itself in the way a personbehaves in the relation to other people. Different customs haveindividual ways of making their children know about their gender(Gender Spectrum 2010). There are expectations towards the behaviorof children at the start of their existence. The children areexpected to follow the teachings when they become adults. While theyare still very young, the children are able to pick behaviors andmannerism that fit what the society expects of them. In currenttimes, there are numerous cases of people changing their sex becausetheir behaviors are not deemed to be normal with regard to their sex.

Allpeople have expectations that are influenced by cultures of differentpeople. The expectations are visible from homes to places of work andin other spheres of the community (Gender Spectrum 2012). Eachculture has designed roles for its men and women. It is consideredwrong or unacceptable for a person from one sex to adopt thebehaviors of the opposite sex. For example, when boys are growing up,they are often castigated if they cry. They are made to believe thatit is girls and women who should cry and not men and boys.

Manycultures accept sexual relations between people of the opposite sex.The topic of relationships people of the same sex has eliciteddifferent views in different quarters. People involved in such unionsare often victimized and treated as outcasts (Campo-Arias 2010). Manysuggestions have been made towards the reasons why relationshipsinvolving people of the same sex develop and grow. Despite theresistance to these relationships, many cultures are slowly embracingthem.

Menare required to show more masculinity than women. Men who lack thismasculinity are considered to be lesser men. The same case happensfor women who seem to be too manly than what the society expects.There is now a general acceptance that both men and women can playroles previously accepted before (Gender Spectrum 2012). Women arenow breadwinners and men play more domestic roles than men inprevious generations. These changes are gaining acceptance cross theentire world.

Insummary, the issue of sex and gender is still debatable. While manypeople still question those who behave contrary to socialexpectations, many others are accepting the new social changes.Changes in social behavior take time and may face stiff opposition,but they eventually become a reality and are accepted Campo-Arias2010). The changes are beneficial as they enhance understandingbetween different people give everyone a sense of belongingirrespective of their sexual orientation.


Campo-Arias,A., Essential Aspects and PracticalImplications of Sexual Identity.2010. Retrieved on November 26, 2012 from

GenderSpectrum. Understanding Gender.2012. Retrieved on November 26, 2012 from