Gender – Ongoing debates and future directions
/ 28 July 2022 | The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics / By Tereza Hendl Tamara Kayali Browne /
There are hardly any aspects of human lives that have not been influenced by what we call gender, including how people work, socialize, dress, play, think, move, parent and so on. But what is gender? Does it differ from sex and if so, how? Does this question even matter? In many – and particularly in Western societies – it has been customary to classify humans into two gender categories – boys and girls – who are treated differently, often even before birth. The recent surge in “gender-reveal parties,” in which expectant parents “reveal” the future child’s presumed gender illustrates how much gender is made to matter even prior to a child’s birth and that different expectations are associated with it. Many of the popular views about gender are grounded in a biologically deterministic conceptualization of gender, which presumes that gender unambiguously follows from sex and that sex and gender are dichotomous categories.