February 8, 2019
|Word of the
|Definition--in many languages, a
system of dividing nouns and pronouns into different classes, often, but
not necessarily, related to the sex of the persons and things denoted; the
condition of being male or female, one's sex.|
|Discussion--In modern American
society, the word "gender" has come to denote the cultural and societal
(as opposed to biological) categories of man and woman. The word "sex," on
the other hand, generally refers to the physiological distinction between
these two groups.
The word "gender" is often seen as a component of terms like "gender
roles," "gender issues" and "gender discrimination." These terms all refer
to societal constructs. However, "gender" is also the root of the word
"engender," which means "to bring into existence" or "to procreate." This
gets back to the biological state "of being male or female," and the
physical union of the sexes.
|Etymology--The term gender is
borrowed from the stem of the Latin genus, meaning kind or sort.
"Gender" first referred to a grammatical class of nouns, pronouns and
verbs. Later, it took on the meaning of kind, sort or class of individuals
French, German, Italian and Spanish below show similar roots.
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