Gender is the centre of many current affairs issues in modern politics and even in sport and without the correct fact’s opinions cannot be fairly formed in order to resolve conflict. What is gender? Gender is commonly defined in more recent times as a range of identities as seen on a spectrum of female to male with variations of femininity and masculinity in between differing from person to person. This can be influenced by cultural and environmental factors as well as biological factors. Sex and gender are often used interchangeably as a result of many people lacking knowledge of new research and discoveries which give the two terms their separate definitions. Traditionally a person’s sex would be determined by their X and Y chromosomes, their levels of different hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen, and by their genitalia.
A biological female would have two X chromosomes and higher levels of hormones like oestrogen whereas a biological male would have an X and a Y chromosome and higher levels of testosterone. As more scientific research is being conducted in areas surrounding gender, sex and gender identity and as society becomes more open to the idea of something much more complex than just biological male and female the concept of gender is becoming a more important and prevalent issue in our world which should be explored to create a greater general awareness of gender and promote the deconstruction of gender based discrimination. Gender is determined by factors such as the persons biological sex, their mental identity (how their brain sees themselves), whom they are attracted to sexually or how they express themselves physically and emotionally. Sex development in the foetus. In humans the sex of a baby is determinable around 18-20 weeks gestation when genitalia develop however biological sex is determined from the second the egg is fertilized, and the sex will depend on the chromosomes carried by the male’s sperm. In some cases, however a baby can be born as intersex meaning they have some variation of both male