Definition of Sex and Gender
While the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, each word has a distinct meaning. Sex is based on anatomical and biological differences between males and females. This term refers to the differences in the sexual anatomy of males and females. A human is considered a male when there is a penis and a scrotum present. A human is considered a female when there is a vagina, ovaries, and a uterus present. These differences are determined by genetic factors and biological components. The chromosomal pair XY and higher levels of the hormone testosterone are normally found in males, while the chromosomal pair XX and higher levels of the hormone estrogen are normally found in females. Intersex people have a combination of male and female sex characteristics, including chromosome combinations and anatomy that are not distinctly male or female.
Whereas sex is based on physical characteristics, gender is socially constructed. Gender is a social construction based on a set of attitudes, interests, behaviors, activities, and appearances that a society considers to be typically masculine or feminine. Gender stereotypes are generalizations about the attributes, differences, and roles of individuals based solely on gender.