Gender Biologically Determined

2131 words 9 pages
“Is Gender Biologically Determined?”- Drawing upon ethnographic examples from 2-3 societies.
Gender being ‘biologically determined’ means that whether gender is inherited or passed down by genetics. If a person is a man or woman, (which is usually called ‘The Sex’), that is biologically determined because they inherit the chromosomes to be born a man, or to be born as a woman. In the early 1970’s sex was described by “biology as: anatomy, hormones, and physiology” (West and Zimmerman 1987). Apart from gender being a biological factor, there are other things which are not biologically determined; “Gender was an achieved status, which was constructed through psychological, cultural and social means” (West and Zimmerman1987). Hence the answer
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There is always a taboo when it comes to sex, and it seems to be a common pattern in the world. Even though, we have sexual feelings and we practice them as it being a part of nature, it is also deeply influenced by culture (Bonvillain 2006). Culture teaches people what is the right thing to do, in what way, when, where and so on. There are a lot of examples where culture intervenes and states the ‘norms’ under which the people in that society or community should behave sexually. For example, sexual relationship between members of a nuclear family or distant relations is prohibited in most cultures. There are other countries which have the legal age of having sex, which are usually the Americans and Europeans, where the legal age is 16, so if a person indulges in a sexual relationship with a person who is below 16 it is considered against the law and will be filed for statutory rape (Bonvillain 2006). Other regions such as India, sex before marriage is considered as sin based on the cultural beliefs, whereas in American society it is inappropriate to have sex if you’re not husband or wife (Bonvillain 2006). While in some countries where sex could be considered as normal, other societies, like Islamic countries for example, any adultery committed by a male or by a female is severely punished, or most commonly stoned to death (Bonvillain 2006). But this isn’t the only issue considering sexuality, the most recent yet shocking development, is homosexuality between men and


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