Debate Info

Yes No
Debate Score:42
Total Votes:47
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (12)
 No (18)

Debate Creator

Jace(5163) pic

Is gender a social construct?

For the purposes of this debate gender is distinct from sex. See below.

Gender: the behavioral or cultural traits typically associated with one sex.

Sex: forms of individuals as distinguished on the basis of their reproductive organs and structure.



Side Score: 20


Side Score: 22
1 point

I believe they are learned, for instance today pink is widely considered a "girls color" to the extent that one cant walk through the toy aisles in a store with out seeing a barrage of pink in the toys typically meant of girls. However, before the 20th century in many countries it was the other way around with pink being considered a more masculine color. However in the 1950s, at least in the us, the color pink had become unfailingly associated with femininity. Furthermore, while certain things in sex dependent, ie greater upper body strength in men, and wider hips in women, lead to certain roles in a "primitive" society, hunter and homemaker, this was not a strict standard. Also looking at children, a relatively blank slate, one would notice that alot of behaviors are learned not innate, for example playing with dolls, it is not an odd occurrence to see a young boy play with the dolls of a sister, or playmate, until they are told that dolls are bad "girly" things, and so toy makers responded with "action figures" to satisfy the social norm that boys not play with a "girly" barbie and instead with the "masculine" gi joe.

Side: Yes
0 points

yes. gender is taught for the most part .

Side: Yes
2 points

No. Gender is taught by evolution, the two genders differ from each other due to their evolution that was brought about by their separate roles. These roles came about due to millions of years of evolution, not a few centuries of culture. Oh god, I'm using logic, I'm becoming rather SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavage myself!

Side: No
1 point

The social construct came from the biological one.

Side: No

It is more of a biological/evolutionary construct than it is a social one.

Side: No
Jace(5163) Clarified
1 point

Do you think that gender performance (i.e. how we display and perform our gender and sexual identities) is entirely biological? What about changes in gender expression over time and across cultures?

Side: Yes
GuitaristDog(2548) Clarified
1 point

Well it depends what kind of performance we are talking about. As we know evolution adapts living things to their roles, now men are on average six inches taller and have a better relative strength than women. Back before the days of civilization when humans were mealy just intelligent beasts, men had to be strong, not only for defending and supplying their pregnant mate, but also, mating as well. Strength played a role in mating because the female had to find a strong male to impregnate her to increase the chances of the child surviving past infancy.

Now of course performance and gender identity can be effected by cultures, but in the end, almost all of it can be traced back to old human instincts.

Side: Yes