SEX AND GENDER: IN SEARCH OF DEFINITIONS

Prepared by Noelle Leslie dela Cruz, Ph.D. Philosophy Department, De La Salle University

What do we mean by “woman”? What do we mean by “man”?

What is a “woman”?

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

What is a “woman”?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State

What is a “woman”?

Roonie Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

What is a “woman”?

Mulan

What is a “woman”?

Darna

What is a “woman”?

Lara Croft

What is a “woman”?

Marilyn Monroe

What is a “woman”?

Jacqueline Kennedy

What is a “woman”?

Thomas Beattie, a female-to-male transsexual who had borne three children

What is a “woman”?

Brandon Teena, a pre-operative transgender who was murdered for his gender identity in 1993

What is a “man”?

BB Gandanghari (formerly known as Rustom Padilla)

What is a “man”?

Marilyn Manson

What is a “man”?

Daniel Craig as 007

What is a “man”?

Jeremy Renner as Sgt. William James in The Hurt Locker

What is a “man”?

Boy George

What is a “man”?

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

What is a “man”?

Vice Ganda

What is a “man”?

Robin Padilla

What is a “man”?

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory

What is a “man”?

Ian McKellen

Some basic concepts

Sex - A biological term which (1) refers to the act of mating between two organisms, or coitus, or (2) the categorization of human beings based on reproductive function, usually male and female (Eviota 1994: 1)

Anne Fausto-Sterling’s “five sexes” proposal
Many other bodies

Female body

True hermaphrodite

Male body

Ferms (Female pseudohermaphrodites)

Merms (Male pseudohermaphrodites)

Not included in the chart: Asexual bodies

Some basic concepts

Gender - The differentiated social roles, behaviors, capacities, and intellectual, emotional, and social characteristics attributed by a culture to women and men besides the strictly biological (Eviota 1994: 4)

Some basic concepts

Sexual orientation - A term used to denote the sex or sexes one is attracted to, sexually and romantically
Heterosexual - A person who is predominantly sexually attracted to the opposite sex  Homosexual - A person who is predominantly sexually attracted to the same sex  Bisexual - A person who is sexually attracted to both sexes

(Caroll and Wolpe 1996: 234-5)

Some basic concepts
American biologist Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the scientific study of human sexuality, was known for the Kinsey scale, which represents a continuum of sexual behavior

References

Sex and Gender in Philippine Society ed. by Elizabeth Eviota, 1994 Sexuality and Gender in Society by Janet Carroll and Paul Root Wolpe, 1996