Defining Sex and Gender

An introduction to understanding the complexities of the difference between 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 Sex 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 Gender 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 . Indeed, "hierarchy 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 explain the phenomenon of gender inequality and male domination (summarised under the term "patriarchy"). It is deeply rooted in history, an undercurrent of almost all cultures, and is structural , present and determining in all facets of our society, including the world of sport. 

See also: Gender Book 2020 - Flying Rabbits Ultimate Club 

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