Jump to content

Why do people talk about a baby's gender not sex?


  • Please log in to reply
113 replies to this topic

#1 PatG

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

A lot of the baby name threads say something like "we aren't finding out the gender".  Is it because the word sex is linked to things other than the biological options of male, female or intersex?  I am of the opinion that gender is something totally different to sex....

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

But sex is rude and gender is sophisticated.

#3 FeralHez

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

I agree I think in this context its because people don't like the sound of the word "sex".

And it self-perpetuates as one person says it, and another, and it snowball into the norm.

#4 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:16 PM

Well gender is technically incorrect. But honestly, who cares? It's not the end of the world!

#5 FeralSis

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:16 PM

It irks me too.

I think it is indeed the word 'sex.'

Sex and gender are not the same.

Gender is how a person identifies themselves eg male or female roles in society.

One doesn't undergo a 'gender change' - they would have a sex change.

#6 BetteBoop

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

Most people don't understand there is any difference between someone's socialised gender role and the contents of their underpants.

So to many people sex and gender are interchangeable.

#7 FEdeRAL

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Hmm good question. I use the word sex in conversations and gender in writings such as on EB. Gender is a mouthful though compared to sex. But you are right, sex is the correct biological term, gender has a whole lot of other things thrown in.

#8 dimensionk

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Oh, I didn't even realise that gender is incorrect!

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

Drives me nuts, OP.

Sex sex sex sex sex!

Just say it!

Babies don't have a gender because gender is a socially constructed self identification!

But sex is a naughty word, so ...

#10 EssentialBludger

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

A lot of people don't know that there is a difference. I only know because of EB.

#11 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

Sex is a swear.

Gender is much 'softer'.

#12 Jenflea

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

Because not everyone is as smart as some people in this thread and don't know there is a difference.


Does it matter?

#13 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (EssentialBludger @ 20/02/2013, 09:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A lot of people don't know that there is a difference. I only know because of EB.


I never learned it in school, which is quite sad. It wasn't until uni that I realised there was a difference. Public education FTW...or not.

#14 LynnyP

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

Sex can be a mouthful.

#15 Dionysus

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

snort

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

I do think it matters actually.

but I've been shot down on that before.

#17 PatG

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

QUOTE (Jenflea @ 20/02/2013, 08:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because not everyone is as smart as some people in this thread and don't know there is a difference.


Does it matter?



I don't really think it matters, but I was wondering why people use gender when they are referring to sex - seems to be either not realising there is a difference or the word gender seemingly being more polite.  

Not knowing there is a difference has nothing to do with being "smart" but rather being ignorant (and ignorant isn't a negative term!) due to never having being made aware of the concept.

#18 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 20/02/2013, 09:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do think it matters actually.

but I've been shot down on that before.


The difference IS important AND it matters. But you can't hold it against people because they don't know, or never learned it.

#19 1&Twins

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

To be honest I just used the term 'gender' in another topic posted.  I didn't realise the difference until then.. and yeah it makes perfect sense now but whatever really... there are probably many of us that hadn't thought of the true definitions and their correct use.  It certainly doesn't bother me.

I just followed suit as most people here seem to use gender as opposed to sex wink.gif

#20 wildflowers

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

Mareek could you please tell me why?  I would never have used it as a derogatory term to ask someone about their baby and I would never have worried if someone asked me what gender or sex my children were. I must be missing something.

#21 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:47 PM

QUOTE (wildflowers @ 20/02/2013, 09:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mareek could you please tell me why?  I would never have used it as a derogatory term to ask someone about their baby and I would never have worried if someone asked me what gender or sex my children were. I must be missing something.


It is important because gender is a fluid concept. Many people identify with a different "gender" to their biological "sex".

#22 Magnus

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

Because gender and sex used in these ways are fairly specialised terminologies. They're not even used consistently within academic fields. The debates around them can get more complicated than biology vs social construction too.

A lot of people might not agree with gender and sex being used in these ways if they seem them as the same thing, i.e. 'I have female biology and this causes me to act like a female and do stereotypical things and my gender is feminine.' If you think like that then it's not necessarily a big deal or big difference, I think.

I tend to use the word 'sex' though, in the above context, FWIW.

#23 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE (Mareek @ 20/02/2013, 09:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is important because gender is a fluid concept. Many people identify with a different "gender" to their biological "sex".


And please don't think you have been derogative. It is incorrect, but IMO not offensive if you don't know the difference.

#24 PatG

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

QUOTE (wildflowers @ 20/02/2013, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mareek could you please tell me why?  I would never have used it as a derogatory term to ask someone about their baby and I would never have worried if someone asked me what gender or sex my children were. I must be missing something.



It matters because if people repeatably use the terms interchangeably it reinforces the idea that a person's gender identity is directly linked to their sex and therefore diminishing the understanding in the wider population that people can, for example, be biological male but have the opposite gender identity.

#25 ~Supernova~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (Magnus @ 20/02/2013, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because gender and sex used in these ways are fairly specialised terminologies. They're not even used consistently within academic fields. The debates around them can get more complicated than biology vs social construction too.

A lot of people might not agree with gender and sex being used in these ways if they seem them as the same thing, i.e. 'I have female biology and this causes me to act like a female and do stereotypical things and my gender is feminine.' If you think like that then it's not necessarily a big deal or big difference, I think.

I tend to use the word 'sex' though, in the above context, FWIW.


In the psychological field the terms are very distinct and agreed upon. I have no experience or knowledge in other fields.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Decluttering before Christmas: tips for managing the toy influx

Deciding how many toys you want to keep and enforcing a limit can help manage the sheer volume of playthings.

86-year-old taught himself to knit, now makes caps for premature babies

'Anything is possible if you put your mind to it' might just be the motto of 86 year-old retiree, Ed Moseley who despite his age and abilities has been gifting handmade knitted caps to premature babies.

Want healthy kids? Let them play in the mud, feed them allergenic foods - and get a dog

If you read about children's health, you've heard a lot of this before.

Photo captures mum's shock at delivery room surprise

Life can be full of surprises, but for this couple a surprise came in a very unexpected way.

Baby's family in law suit over RAAF base chemicals

A 10-month-old baby has been exposed to significant levels of toxic chemicals around a RAAF base near Newcastle, say his parents.

Childcare worker investigated after threatening toddler's mother

An early childhood teacher has been censured for serious misconduct after she threatened the mother of a young child.

Scottish baby names

Scotland, the wind and water-hewn land of the loch, the kilt and the heather. Bedecked in castles great and small, there are many Australians with Scottish heritage who could look to that fair country for baby name inspiration.

Do we need more parking spaces for parents?

The Give Me Space campaign is collecting stories from mums who have had difficult experiences while trying to find safe parking.

Gender neutral parenting: what it's really like

If you want to take a leaf out of Clare's book in gender neutral parenting, her advice is simple: "Follow the children's lead, and you can't go wrong."

The vital question no parent wants to think about

Since becoming a mother I sometimes wonder what would happen to my babies if their dad and I both died.

6 parents to stop judging right now

It's worth looking a little more closely at some common parenting missteps. Could it be these mums and dads are really just like you and me?

Ryan Reynolds shares delivery room tips for expectant dads

If your partner is heading to the delivery room any time soon, you've got to see Ryan Reynolds' video on dealing with the intricacies of the delivery room.

The trials and tribulations of teenage mums, 10 years later

Having her first baby at 16 was a shock for Simone Miller, but it's not something she regrets.

Grandma falls head over heels for baby - literally

Usually Valerie Sharp's plan to put her granddaughter into her cot works just fine, but when things go wrong it is hilarious.

My toddler wants all my attention all of the time - help!

This is a stage, and you and she will move through it. I can (almost) promise it.

Cotton On KIDS' cute new baby prewalker shoes

Oh watch out folks, Cotton On KIDS' baby range has just become even cuter with the release of its first ever prewalker shoe collection.

Why I love the superhero phase

My twins are heading towards three and have officially entered the superhero phase. It happened almost overnight.

I'm caught in a 'mumpetition' with my friend and I'm losing it

My best friend and I had children within a year of each other. She thinks her child is God's gift to the world.

A year of motherhood: my survival story

Motherhood burns you down, but it rebuilds you too.

Five traps to be aware of when reading IVF clinic websites

Clinics provide IVF success rates in often confusing ways because there is no agreed format on how this information should be presented.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

What pregnancy is really like: mums share their honest opinions

We asked real women what surprised them during their pregnancy. They've shared their experiences in the hope of preparing the rest of us better for the ride

The truth about big-headed babies

Research suggests that big headed babies become more intelligent than their smaller peers. One mum shares the positives and negatives of having a big headed baby.

How to encourage your baby's gross motor development skills

There are some everyday things that parents can do to improve gross motor skills and coordination.

'My baby's extra thumb saved her life'

A mum whose daughter was born with an extra thumb says that the extra digit saved her life.

He gave her his liver, she gave him her heart

Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey's origin story began in a darker place than most: with stage 4 liver cancer.

Toilet training from birth? It is possible

This method, called elimination communication (EC or assisted infant toilet training), is becoming increasingly popular in the West.

Watch hilarious montage of strangest pregnancy questions on Yahoo Answers

Some of the strangest questions about pregnancy - and some of the most bizarre spelling - have made for a hilarious video.

How to reduce your chances of perineal tearing in birth

The use of heat packs, along with other aspects of clinical care, can reduce your risk of tearing in birth.

 

Baby Names

Unusual Celeb Baby Names

Click through the gallery to read the details and see some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.