Sex Has Been Gender All Along Term Paper by Quality Writers

Sex Has Been Gender All Along
An examination of the re-framing of the concepts "sex" and "gender".
# 103996 | 1,686 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper re-frames the concepts of "sex" and "gender". In this paper the term "sex" refers primarily to biological traits, while the term "gender" refers to the behaviors associated with a particular biological sex, rather than merely the biological sex itself. The paper shows that the existentialist Simone de Beauvoir was one of the trailblazers who opened up this field, while Judith Butler completely re-framed the concepts of "sex" and "gender." The paper then points out that Butler's re-framing moved the spotlight from a subject self with a biological sex/gender, to a performance of gender. The paper also looks at how this re-framing of "sex" and "gender" has had the consequence of freeing gender expression from previous restrictions - at least theoretically. The writer concludes that no gender positions are natural, or entirely dictated by biology. Rather, they are all constructed.

From the Paper:

"Up until around the middle of the 20th century, it was almost universally believed that gender is assigned by biology, so that maleness inevitably implies masculinity, and femaleness inevitably implies femininity. It was also widely assumed that all infants are born clearly and indisputably either one sex or the other, and that once they reach sexual maturity they will inevitably and universally wish to choose a sexual partner of the opposite sex. This group of assumptions is sometimes referred to as biological essentialism (Butler; Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body; Salih)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. New York: Virago Books, 1974.
  • Fausto-Sterling, Ann. "Is Gender Essential?" Sissies & Tomboys: Gender Nonconformity & Homosexual Childhood. Ed. Matthew Rottnek. New York: New York University Press, 1999: 52-57.
  • Fausto-Sterling, Ann. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York: Basic Books, 2000.
  • Halberstam, Judith. Female Masculinity. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1998.
  • Salih, Sara. Judith Butler. London: Routledge, 2002.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Sex Has Been Gender All Along (2008, May 30) Retrieved April 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Sex Has Been Gender All Along" 30 May 2008. Web. 19 April. 2021. <>