The main feminist motivation for making this distinction was to counter biological determinism or the view that biology is destiny.A typical example of a biological determinist view is that of Geddes and Thompson who, in 1889, argued that social, psychological and behavioural traits were caused by metabolic state.
This entry outlines and discusses distinctly feminist debates on sex and gender.
The terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ mean different things to different feminist theorists and neither are easy or straightforward to characterise.
Many feminists have historically disagreed and have endorsed the sex/ gender distinction.
Provisionally: ‘sex’ denotes human females and males depending on factors (social role, position, behaviour or identity).
Most sociobiological research is now conducted in the field of behavioral ecology. The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes an assistant professor of biological sciences. The ancestry of man's best friend is more complicated than its furry coat and soulful eyes betray.
Some anthropologists try to understand how societies and histories construct our identities, and others ask about how genes and the environment do the same thing. Understanding the evolutionary history of the domesticated dog may help protect endangered ...
For instance, Simone de Beauvoir famously claimed that one is not born, but rather a woman, and that “social discrimination produces in women moral and intellectual effects so profound that they appear to be caused by nature” (Beauvoir 1972 [original 1949], 18; for more, see the entry on Simone de Beauvoir).
Commonly observed behavioural traits associated with women and men, then, are not caused by anatomy or chromosomes. Although biological determinism of the kind endorsed by Geddes and Thompson is nowadays uncommon, the idea that behavioural and psychological differences between women and men have biological causes has not disappeared.
Sketching out some feminist history of the terms provides a helpful starting point.
Most people ordinarily seem to think that sex and gender are coextensive: women are human females, men are human males.
Scientists have found out that test subjects almost always perceive the facial expression on Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting as happy, thus calling into question a long-held assumption in ...