What is gender?

Gender

Gender is a range of characteristics of femininity and masculinity. Depending on the context, the term may refer to such concepts as sex (i.e. the state of being male or female), social roles (as in gender roles) or gender identity.

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Famous quotes containing the word gender:

    But there, where I have garnered up my heart,
    Where either I must live or bear no life;
    The fountain from the which my current runs
    Or else dries up: to be discarded thence,
    Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
    To knot and gender in!
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    Most women of [the WW II] generation have but one image of good motherhood—the one their mothers embodied. . . . Anything done “for the sake of the children” justified, even ennobled the mother’s role. Motherhood was tantamount to martyrdom during that unique era when children were gods. Those who appeared to put their own needs first were castigated and shunned—the ultimate damnation for a gender trained to be wholly dependent on the acceptance and praise of others.
    Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)

    Anthropologists have found that around the world whatever is considered “men’s work” is almost universally given higher status than “women’s work.” If in one culture it is men who build houses and women who make baskets, then that culture will see house-building as more important. In another culture, perhaps right next door, the reverse may be true, and basket- weaving will have higher social status than house-building.
    —Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen. Excerpted from, Gender Grace: Love, Work, and Parenting in a Changing World (1990)