Topic 1 What is Gender?

Gender is the relations between masculinity and femininity, both perceptual and material. Gender is not determined biologically, as a result of sexual characteristics of either women or men, but is constructed socially (FAO, 2004). 

Gender is culturally shaped of attributes and behaviours given to the different sexes, that are classified as feminine, masculine, androgynous, etc. People express their gender through their clothing, physical appearance, behaviour and gestures.

Gender and Sex

Sex is not identical to gender and gender does not refer to someone’s sex.

  • Sex describes the biological differences between different sexes.

  • Gender is a sociocultural bound term, traditionally used to distinguish people based on a perceived difference between the sexes.

(Gender, women and health, WHO)

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