Topic: Gender


Gender alludes to a person's femininity with differences in their features and characteristics being highly valued. Typically, the term "gender" is used to describe the various sexes that occur in humans.(Richard, J.U). The word "gender" seeks to differentiate between the various sexes of beings that can exist, such as the intersex gender and the female gender. The only extreme gender types that typically occur are male and female. In some cases, the word "gender" can also refer to the sex of a person or an animal, though the distinctions or differences between the two terms are sometimes typically emphasized to refer to the specific meaning they are required to deliver.

In this essay, we will have the term gender to refer to the different sexes of human beings mostly and the main types of gender to be the male gender, the female and the intersex gender(WHO).

Human beings pose characteristics of which some are similar to all the gender types while some are specifically possessed by a given type of gender. Historically, gender originates from the point of creation where man is first created then followed by a woman. The creation process first depicts the existence of two similar beings with little differences while after the fall of man depicted in the same story of creation as recorded in the Holly Bible, more differences in characteristics come into light.

The history of the human up to this generation has developed, and due to certain evolution and continuity of generation process’s, the third form of gender has emerged which is referred to as the intersex/unisex gender.

This gender, just from its name composed of inter../ Uni.., means that it lies in between the two major types of gender i.e. the male and female gender. Therefore, its characteristics and features may also be composed of those of the two major gender types.

Gender Identity

Gender identity involves the act of identifying a type of gender through the available features and characteristics. Identity either depict a particular human being to be a man, woman or to be an intersex/unisex(Mari and Mikkola). The process of identification will, therefore, involve judgment on the composition of the being to be identified. The judgmental process will take into consideration the features and characteristics of the gender so as to give the correct gender identity. Some of the features and characteristics are easily visible and identifiable by the common human eye. Others can’t be seen while others must be felt or heard.

Some of the features and characteristics that can be easily seen include the masculine features:

where men are considered to be more muscular than women, the face, external biological features e.g. the breasts/mammary glands: where women are considered to have enlarged breasts/mammary glands as compared to those of men. The features and characteristics that cannot be seen are the internal biological features e.g. the type of sexual reproduction, DNA compositions, etc. These can only be done through medical/biological processes. An example of a feature or characteristic that can be felt and heard is the voice/speech. (DELPH-JANIUREK, 1999, p. 145)

For unisex/intersex gender, it cannot be easily identified physically but will involve further biological and medical tests/processes to be done for identification.

This gender thus has most of its characteristics and features invisible to the common human eye. Though a few of them can be seen and identified through social behavior and interactions. This gender is, therefore, difficult to identify and determine and this is why maybe it is not that common and not recorded in some areas of the world. Its popularity and history also cannot be ascertained and traced easily because of this similar trend. Biologically, it has been researched to be sharing both the characteristics of the male and female gender.

Gender Roles

Human beings are capable of carrying out different roles in a societal set up ranging from economic, social, biological, political, educative and political perspective (Linda L and Lindsey). The roles will depend on the capability of the person and gender comes in trying to distinguish the categories of the tasks and roles that every gender can do. There are also certain roles that can be done equally by all the genders as they do not require specific/special characteristics and abilities e.g. entrepreneurship roles (Warnecke, T). These are the roles that can also be done by all the gender categories irrespective of the ages.

Most Roles do not apply at extreme levels apart from biological roles e.g. reproduction of newborn which is a specific role played by the female gender in the society.

Biblical history also states clearly that this specific role was given to the woman who was to be played after fulfilling the marriage process. Apart from human’s features and characteristics, some roles can also be used to identify a given gender, for example, the role of giving birth as stated above, the role of heading a family which has always been identified with the male gender, etc. (Kabeer, 1994, p. 328)

Gender Issues

Specifying certain roles in the society such as those in the line of social life, economic, political, educative and spiritual life has since brought out some debates as generations change (Hurst, C). Gender issues have been a widely discussed topic of late whereby certain authorities and groupings have come out to try and bridge the gap between the roles played by the different types of gender in the perspectives listed above (Linda and White). For example, historically, certain cultural beliefs and laws clearly stated the dos and the don'ts of each gender. For example, socially, women were never allowed to hold any leadership position superior to that of men (Connell, R). Women were never allowed to get the modern education more so in the African countries, women were never allowed to hold spiritual leadership positions, etc. with the change in generations, all these have changed, and the roles above can now be played by either of the genders.

Stipulated Gender Laws

In protection of the rights and freedom to be practiced by gender, most governments and international unions and groups have tried to state, draft and put into law these aspects so as to create awareness and put them into action. Most of these laws usually target the minority gender i.e. the female gender and the unisex/intersex/transgender. This was done because these minority genders used to and usually receive a lot of pressure form the majority gender i.e. the male gender. Some of the laws that have been stipulated so far are the laws on education for all, right to hold a leadership position both socially and politically, right to be able to be productive e.g. through employment and self-employment/ entrepreneurship (Warnecke, T).

Gender Equality

Gender equality involves the act of trying to bridge the gap among all the gender categories in line with gender roles in the fields of economics, social, political, spiritual and education (UNFPA). Therefore, gender inequality will be trying to identify the points where these gender differences are in the above fields. The step of stipulating gender laws has to a large extent reduced the rate of alienation/isolation due to these differences. Gender equality will, therefore, apply to all the genders both the majority and the minority though it mostly applies to the minority gender categories (Chow and Melinda).

Gender equality will try to solve the gender issues through holistic dialogue and following proper channels in addressing those issues.

It brings balance between the genders without favoring any category(s). This is shown through UNICEF's definition of gender where they state that gender equality means that all the genders are given the same chance to practice their rights, freedom, opportunities, and protections.

Social Life vs. Gender

Social life involves the aspect of interrelation with people in a societal or communal set up at immediate and general public perspective. The society has got its rules, regulations, laws, code and conducted that guide people on how they should carry out themselves socially. These aspects usually take into consideration the gender factor whereby they try to fit in the roles to be played by each and every gender in the social wellbeing (Hurst, C.). For example regarding leadership, all the genders are given the ability to lead since they all possess the capabilities of leadership.

Education vs. Gender

Education involves empowerment of one's skills and knowledge in a given field through learning and training. Since all the gender types have the capacity to be skillful, talented, gifted and knowledgeable, then it means that they should all be given the opportunity to access learning and training opportunities.

Economics and Gender

Economics deals with production and consumption which will then bring in the aspect of commerce. Commerce will entail the process of applying one's knowledge, skills, talent and gifts to provide goods and services for consumption in exchange for a reward at an individual or corporate level (Warnecke, T). Through education, one gets the chance to grow and develop in commerce since he/she gets empowered. This aspect will consider all gender since they all have the capability of learning and training thus get empowered to be productive economically.

Religion and Gender

Religion involves the act of possessing a given form of spiritual life such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Biblically, all human beings are commanded to worship, and all commandments and God's laws are given to 'Man' to follow and obey. Man in Biblical context refers to man and woman. Therefore, spiritual growth also incorporates all gender.

Politics and Gender

Political rule entails enacting of laws and exercising governance in line with agreed stated guidelines e.g. the constitution. Politics is, therefore, a role played by people at the different leadership levels. The capability of leadership at the social level incorporates all genders and therefore should the leadership role in the political sphere (Linda and White). Through gender equality, political leadership has been enabled to all the gender categories due to the possession of leadership capabilities in all genders. (Calhoun, 1994, p. 578)

Developing Trends in Gender

With growth and development experienced in all the life aspects such as technology, economics, education, social life, politics and religion, the element of gender also moves along. This has therefore brought about balance in all these aspects. For example, back in the days of war, since the warring armies were composed of the male gender, the affected persons were majorly the women and the children as they would lose their breadwinners, be displaced, be psychologically tortured. But due to the current developments in education and economics, women are also empowered to be providers for their families thus reducing cases of poverty effects on single mothers. (Calhoun, 1994, p. 578)

A development also in gender equality has also created enough awareness in this aspect and has reduced cases of isolation, bullying, and alienation in new aspects such as social media and political leadership for women.

Establishment of transgender rights has led to the acceptance of this rare category of gender in the modern society since it establishes day by day the biological contributions of this aspect of gender thus brings proper understanding and defense of this occurrence (Stryker and Susan).


Gender is, therefore, a very important aspect of life in the modern life since it affects most of the major aspects of living such as social, economic, political, and religious and education.

Works Cited

Calhoun, C. (1994). Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory. The University of Chicago Press , 558-581.

Chow and Melinda. (2005) Transgender Jurisprudence and an Expanding Meaning of Sex Discrimination. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender.

Connell, R.( 1987) Gender & Power. Polity Press, Cambridge

DELPH-JANIUREK, T. ( 1999). Sounding Gender(ed): Vocal performances in English university teaching spaces. Gender, Place & Culture , 137-153.

Hurst, C. (2007) Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. 6th Edition.

Kabeer, N. (1994). The Structure of ‘Revealed’ Preference: Race, Community and Female Labour Supply in theLondon Clothing Industry . Development and Change , 307-331.

Le Moyne and Roger. Promoting Gender Equality. An Equity Based Approach to Programming. (UNICEF) 2011

Linda L and Lindsey. The Sociology of gender. Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective. Pearson. 2010

Linda and White. Women, Politics, and Public Policy: The Political Struggles of Canadian Women. 2nd ed. Oxford Press.1964

Mari and Mikkola. (1994) Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender. Stanford University 2001

Richard, J.U. The Nature of Gender .

Stryker and Susan. (2006) Introduction in Stryker and S. Whittle (Eds.). The Transgender Studies. New York. Routledge

UNFPA. (2015) Gender Equality. United Nations Population Fund. (UNFPA).

Warnecke, T. (2013)Entrepreneurship and Gender: An Institutional Perspective. Journal of Economic Issues.

WHO. (2015)What do we mean by "sex" and "gender"?. (World Health Organization)


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