28 May 2011

Parents keep child’s gender under wraps - Yahoo! News

If gender is the social construction of sex, isn't this child too young to have a gender yet?

Parents keep child’s gender under wraps - Yahoo! News:
When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: 'Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!')

But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. 'We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now--a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...),' it said.

That's right. They're not saying whether Storm is a boy or a girl.

Is the use of "sex" and "gender" in this article an instance of what Fowler calls "elegant variation"? Or have the words become completely interchangeable? Or is it just that journalists nowadays don't know what the words mean.

I get mildly annoyed when forms ask for my gender, and offer the alternatives of "Male" and "Female".

"Male" is not a gender; male is a SEX.

Male and female are sexes.
The genders are masculine, feminine and neuter.

1 comment:

Ben Kerrigan said...

I didn't know thats what genders are;I always thought gender and sex are the same thing! I completely agree that our way of life shouldn't be dictated by what our genitals are; it should be about what our soul and mind are like. Asking sex should be like asking race; not done. It just isn't important!


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