gender : Common Errors in English

About gender

When discussing males and females, feminists wanting to remove references to sexuality from contexts which don’t involve mating or reproduction revived an older meaning of “gender” which had come to refer in modern times chiefly to language, as a synonym for “sex” in phrases such as “Our goal is to achieve gender equality.” Americans, always nervous about sex, eagerly embraced this usage, which is now standard. In some scholarly fields, “sex” is used to label biologically determined aspects of maleness and femaleness (reproduction, etc.) while “gender” refers to their socially determined aspects (behavior, attitudes, etc.); but in ordinary speech this distinction is not always maintained. It is disingenuous to pretend that people who use “gender” in the new senses are making an error, just as it is disingenuous to maintain that “Ms.” means “manuscript” (that’s “MS” ). Nevertheless, I must admit I was startled to discover that the tag on my new trousers describes not only their size and color, but their “gender.”

gender Meaning(s)

  • (n) a grammatical category in inflected languages governing the agreement between nouns and pronouns and adjectives; in some languages it is quite arbitrary but in Indo-European languages it is usually based on sex or animateness
  • (n) the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles

gender in News

  1. Gender Identity Bill Set For Del. House Vote

    DOVER, Del. - A bill aimed at protecting transgender people in Delaware by outlawing discrimination based on gender identity has cleared a House committee.    The committee released the bill following
    on June 13, 2013 Source: WMDT Salisbury

  2. Gender-Neutral Bathrooms to be Required in Multnomah County Buildings of Oregon

    Oregons most populous county is requiring that gender-neutral bathrooms be included whenever a county-owned building is constructed or remodeled, a move to accommodate transgender employees and visitors.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Gayapolis

  3. Gender pay gap

    Give money to needy, not greedy Thanks to Jerry Large for his insightful column on the gender pay gap and its causes [“Wider look at gender pay gap,” NWMonday, June 10]. I agree that a lot of the problem boils down to the lack of affordable, high-quality child care and lack of paid mater
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Seattle Times

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