Ethiopia

Ethiopia PSEA Network - Gender key concepts

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Sex vs. Gender

The table below gives a quick introduction to the key differences:

Sex is:

Biologically defined: Determined at birth

Biological and physical characteristics persons are born with that make them male or female

Characteristics:

• Internal and external sex organs
• Chromosomes
• Hormones
• Usually, cannot be changed
• Consistent worldwide
• Same today as in the past

GENDER is:

Socially constructed: Learned through socialization

Behaviours and attributes that society considers appropriate or acceptable for girls/women and boys/men

Characteristics:

• Constructed by society
• Influenced by culture and religion
• Learn gender (feminine/masculine)
• Changes over time and between contexts
• Different in different parts of the world