Chapter summary imageThe Social Side of Sex

What is the difference between sex and gender?

  • sex: the biological makeup of a male or female
  • gender: the personal traits and position in society connected with being a male or female

What are the sociological perspectives on gender and gender inequality?

  • feminist theory: feminists share the belief that equality in work and education should increase, human choice for outcomes should be expanded, gender stratification should be eliminated, and sexual violence should end
  • functionalism: the separation of gender roles eliminates competition between the sexes and makes family life run smoothly
  • conflict theory: capitalism and patriarchy are intertwined; as a result, women are locked in a never-ending cycle that makes them submissive and subservient to men
  • symbolic interactionism: people’s definition of gender develops from everyday interactions with others from the same and opposite sex

What policies are in place to prevent sexual harassment and abuse?

  • campaigns against sexual assault and domestic violence, shelters, and counselling services