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 Jenferal

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 Etienne

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.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.