Defining "Sex" and "Gender"

Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that are used to differentiate between children at birth and to assign "M" or "F" to them on their birth certificates.

Gender" refers to socially determined roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a society considers appropriate for the stereotypes of males and females.

As Victoire Tuaillon explains in her popular scientific journal on masculinities: "Socialisation is the set of processes by which we construct ourselves, by which we are formed, modelled, shaped, manufactured, conditioned, and gendered: our gender identity is the framework in which we shape the feeling of our own identity. Gender marks the way we move, whether we allow ourselves to interrupt someone mid-conversation or not, our occupations and concerns, our styles of clothing, but also our gestures, the pitch of our voice, ...".

From birth, we differentiate between babies according to their sex because they are assigned a gender (male or female), and this differentiation gives them access to a restricted and discriminating panel of opportunities. This phenomenon of individual differentiation is superimposed on the phenomenon of gender hierarchy. Indeed, "in almost all known societies, what is masculine is considered superior". There are many examples of this: gendered languages such as French, where the masculine form prevails, or the fact that we encourage the little girl who wants to play football (an activity considered masculine), all the while worrying about a little boy who likes to dance (an activity considered feminine). As the researcher Olivia Gazalé sums up, since ancient times and still today, "being a man is first and foremost about not being a woman"; in other words, not being effeminate.

It is impossible to escape the phenomenon of gender inequality and male domination (summarized under the term "patriarchy"). It is deeply rooted in history, an undercurrent of almost all cultures, and is structural, i.e., present and determining in all facets of our society, including the world of sport.

Source: Gender Book 2020 - Flying Rabbits Ultimate Club

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