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Sex vs. Gender, Nature vs. Nurture

My research thus far has focused on the differences between sex and gender. I have found that the major difference stems from the conflict of nature versus nurture. While biological sex is a product of nature, gender is a product of nurture. More specifically, biological sex is determined at conception by the pairing of chromosomes that can either be XX for females, or XY for males. Gender on the other hand, is a socially influenced term, determined by culture and stereotypes built around one's sex. With this in mind, I wanted to look at how the psychological development of one's sexual identity could be effected by the stereotypes and gender roles created by society and culture. Furthermore, which has more of an effect on an individual's sexual identity, nature or nurture? Are there any aspects of our sexual identity that are inherently male, or inherently female? Can males and females be separated on a psychological level as well as on a physical level, or has society created the divide between sexes with its concept of gender? I hope to find out whether or not nurture is the only thing standing between what might otherwise be very similar natures, or if society's concept of gender has developed in the way it has as a result of inherent differences between sexes.

Comments

It sounds like you wish to (and need to) first craft an argument regarding the definition of "sex" and "gender" - I would make this more clear in the first sentence. I am curious as to what sources you are drawing on to reach your conclusion that biological sex is a product of nature and gender is a product of nurture. I am also wondering if you are looking at someone's "sexual identity" as described by the individual in question, in terms of the "sex" and "gender" frameworks, or in another manner. The aim stated in the last question is intriguing, but to responsibly provide an answer, perhaps the focus of your paper needs to be narrowed.

I think you need to define the perspective from which you are writing. Clearly there is a fundamental biological difference between males and females--you allude to this when you refer to chromosomal differences. I assume, then, that your study will be psychology-based, and yet this is not the impression you give when you refer to the two sexes as having inherently similar natures. I suppose, then, I am echoing the above comment. The success of your paper relies on coherent, non-assumptive definitions of sex and gender.
Secondly, I wonder about the uniqueness of this research topic--this, too, depends on how your background and thesis are framed. I know there have been studies conducted on children and their playtime environments, for example: girls were given toy trucks, boys were given dolls. Though I don't know what the specific results of this behavioral study was, I do know that many other studies like it have been conducted. Intellectual and emotional differences between boys and girls have long fascinated research. For you--as you are not in a position to conduct a comprehensive, multi-year study of your own--a successful paper will likely focus on one especially interesting or prominent study, yet approach it from a novel perspective. For my own research paper, for example, I am considering the issue of international food aid. This issue has been well-examined. The difference is that I view an economic issue through a cultural lens. Perhaps a similar approach would be useful in your own writings.

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