Are gender roles and differences fixed, once and for, all by biology? Or is gender socially constructed and culturally variable? How does gender differ from sex?
It is popular in certain circles to think of gender as a fluid spectrum: People can fall on many points between "very feminine" and "very masculine," and where they fall can change over time. In this Prospect article, Julian Baggini provides his own tweak to this framework. He argues for gender viscosity instead of gender fluidity, where one moves along the gender spectrum over a longer time frame.
In making this argument, he advances some interesting claims regarding the status of gender as both biological and socially constructed. For me, it raised the question—how much of gender is left after we take away its socially constructed component? Would the difference between biological sexes really get us any closer to our system of gender differentiation?
Here's the article:
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