Understanding Gender and Sex etymology

Morocco , June 26, 2013 – Morocco World News

From a grammatical perspective, gender refers to the nouns that are classified as masculine, feminine or neuter. This definition was first introduced by the two pioneers of Greek philosophy named Aristotle, and Protagoras, since words in classical languages were laden with masculine and feminine qualities. In fact, the term gender is not confined etymologically to this definition, yet the word comes to define itself within a variety of other linguistic contexts. For instance, in Middle English, gender comes from the Latin “genus” to signify a kind, sort, or type as it was also used in Greek language to imply “gen” which is used as an equivalent to the word to produce.[1]

The concept of gender in cultural studies approach is defined in association with the socially-constructed functions whereby men and women are characterized. According to the international organization of food and agriculture (FAO), it is argued that gender is not determined biologically as it is the case with sex; however it is socially reshaped and molded through the process of socialization. More significantly, gender’s subjective is not aimed at considering or prioritizing one sex over the other, its main concern is devoted to the study of the relationship existing between female and male in society.[2]

In his book entitled Sociology, the British professor and contemporary sociologist named Anthony Giddens defines gender within a sociological parameter. For him, gender is attributed to the individual’s cultural attitudes together with the interpretations about the behavioral qualities seen appropriate to each sex. Giddens also emphasizes that the study of gender relations has gained a broad interest along with the area of sociology for refuting the argument that this concept should reconsider the physical attributes of men and women. Thus, to back up his argument, Giddens goes on saying: “the distinction between sex and gender is fundamental, since many differences between males and females are not biological in origin”. So, apparently the quote makes it clear by locating the dividing line between gender and sex.[3]

It has been found obvious to differentiate between sex and gender as two separate concepts. To begin with, the word sex is derived from Middle English to mean ‘section’ and in Latin, the term means number ‘six’.[4] Scientifically, sex refers mainly to the biological and physical characteristics that identify men as males and women as females. For this reason, the sexual identity of each sex in lone includes a set of visible distinctions; some of them are so important, such as: the physical anatomy, ‘genitals’, facial features hair, body structure and composition. Based on this evidence, sex seems to exclude the influence of culture and society in constructing its nature. Hence, one can understand that sex, as opposed to gender is originally a biological-construct and has nothing to do with the social variables.[5]

To clarify it more, G. Anthony tries to explain in a quote taken from his book Sociology, the scientific origins of sex differences by stating:

Our sex, and much of our biological makeup, is a result of genes contributed by our father’s sperm cell and our mother’s eggs cell at conception that is at the formation of a new cell. All this genetic material is contained in twenty three pairs of chromosomes which reside in that new cell. The sperm and egg each contribute genetic information to one member of each pair.[6]

In the light of this quote, it can be deduced that it is made clear to realize sex differences. As Giddens has shown, the very differences that control and constitute the sexual identity of both sexes are of biological origins. As a matter of fact, the sociologist tends to consider the intervention of human genes and their role in forming which sex one is going to take before birth.

Aspects of sex in comparison to those associated with gender do not differ among individuals in world societies. This is due to the fact that human physical structure is a shared property and quality; whereas, it’s agreed that gender roles differ considerably from one community to another. As an instance, women in United States of America are less paid than their male counterparts even if they have the same job, and in most parts of the world women undertake domestic tasks much more than the men who are mostly supposed to work outdoor.[7]

*****

UN: Sex between men fuelling Aids in EA

Africa, Monday, June 23 2008 – The East African

Image result for aids

A new United Nations report cites injected drug use and sex between men as important factors in East Africa’s Aids epidemic. A prevalent male attitude of supremacy over women is also identified as a key reason why the Aids virus continues to spread in Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries.

The findings are contained in “Securing Our Future,” a report by the UN Commission on HIV/Aids and Governance in Africa, issued last week to coincide with a special General Assembly session on the epidemic.

The commission is headed by Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Zambia, and by Pascal Mocumbi, former prime minister of Mozambique.

Referring to East Africa, the commission makes note of several recent studies indicating that “sex between men could be an important factor in several of the epidemics in this region, despite the widely held assumption that sex between men is ‘alien’ to African societies.”

More than 700 men sell sex to other men in Mombasa, according to a study cited in the UN report. That implies there is “a reasonably large population of male clients [in Mombasa] willing to pay for sex with men,” the UN adds.

Homosexual activity may be widespread in Kenya, the report suggests.

“Several other studies have been able to easily locate and enrol men who have sex with men as participants,” the UN commission points out.

Rates of HIV infection appear to be above-average for men in Kenya who have sex with other men. For example, a study in Kilifi of men who have sex with men found HIV to be present in more than 38 per cent of those tested. Lower rates among men who engage in homosexual acts have been measured in other parts of Kenya, the UN report adds, citing a figure of 11 per cent among men at counselling sites.

The overall HIV infection rate in Kenya is currently estimated at 4.6 per cent for adult men and 8.7 per cent for adult women.

Abuse of gay men may be contributing to the spread of the Aids virus in Kenya, the UN report suggests. It points to a study in Nairobi in which one in four homosexual or bisexual men said they had been treated aggressively or humiliated in public in the previous 12 months.

Many women in turn face elevated risks of contracting HIV as a result of the higher infection rate among men who have sex with men.

According to the UN Commission, “many men use their greater status, incomes and access to other resources to buy, coerce or exchange sex from women and girls. In turn, men justify their behaviours on the basis of cultural and social values that encourage having multiple sexual partners.”

Women married to men who have multiple sex partners may become infected with HIV as a result of their husbands’ behaviour, “over which they wield little if any control,” the UN report says. “For many women, marriage and fidelity are no protection against HIV.”

Rape inside marriage is commonplace in Africa and carries a heightened risk of HIV infection for women, the commission adds. “Women are obliged to have intercourse any time and under risky conditions: e.g., male spouses having sexual relations with other women, becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and demanding sex under the influence of alcohol. Trauma caused by forced sex increases the likelihood of HIV transmission,” the report says.

Intravenous drug use represents “an increasingly important factor” in the Aids epidemics in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius, the UN commission further finds.

*****

Sex pests lurk at Unam campus – senior SRC member

Namibia, February 22, 2017 – Newera

Keetmanshoop-The vice-president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Namibia (Unam) Southern Campus, Shikulo Eben-esser, has made explosive claims that some lecturers at the campus deliberately fail students who refuse to have sexual affairs with them.

In a strongly-worded statement delivered during the opening of the academic year last week, he raised the issue as one of the problems students face in their quest to obtain an education. He said some female students struggle because they have been purposefully failed in their modules by lecturers embittered after their sexual advances were turned down.

“It’s the struggle of students who have been failed by their lecturers just because students resisted having an affair with them,” said the SRC leader.

Speaking to New Era on the sidelines of the opening ceremony, to elaborate on the allegations, Eben-esser said the SRC office has been approached by some students who complained their continuous assessment marks as calculated by them didn’t match those of their lecturers, who allegedly put up low marks to disqualify students from writing exams after the lecturers were denied sexual favours.

He added that some students complained that their marks have been consistently low after refusing ‘to go to dinner’ with certain lecturers, adding that the situation has resulted in some students moving to different campuses, as they have given up all hope of passing under the same lecturers.

He said some students have now switched from full-time to distance learning. He singled out a student who allegedly had to redo her course and start all over again while she was in the third year of her four-year degree programme.

Eben-esser noted students have no choice but to take such drastic measures.

“It’s no use to come back or register for the same course as they (lecturers) are the same people who are lecturing and demanding sex from these students,” said Eben-esser.

During his initial speech he also had a message for all staff members of the institution, in which he charged that students have had enough of poor service while they pay huge amounts of money to be educated, and that students will take no more abuse from any staff member.

“To all those staff members who take pride in victimising our students with threats, I want you to know that your time is up, and should you continue to laugh and mock our students whose only fault is defending their freedom, we will take you home,” he warned.

Contacted for comment on the issue, the assistant pro-vice chancellor Dr Erold Naomab contortedly said there seems to be a “misunderstanding”, as the speech by the SRC VP also contained some of the views of the SRC president and thus it was not yet clear which issues raised are peculiar to the southern campus. He claimed that the speech did not clearly distinguish as to which issues were general to all campuses and those specific to the southern campus. On the matter of sexual affairs, he said the SRC has not brought anything of that kind to his attention, but he gave the assurance that if there is any grain of truth in the allegations and evidence that some lecturers are indeed acting in this way, the institution’s policy on sexual harassment is clear as to what is to be done.

He was quick to say that students might be referring to sexual harassment cases that were already investigated last year, noting that investigators at the time found no cause for concern.

“If there is a new case that has surfaced during their term of office (SRC) then they need to bring it to our attention so that we can call an investigation team to follow on such leads, but if it’s just assumptions then we can’t act on assumptions, we need evidence,” he responded.

Naomab however also stressed the need to understand the nature of a relationship that can exist between a lecturer and student, saying there is for instance nothing wrong with a lecturer having a relationship with a student doing her master’s on distance as there is no direct conflict of interest, adding that people should also understand this and not jump to conclusions.

The SRC was due to meet the management yesterday to discuss the issues raised.

*****

Al Shabaab executes Somali man and teenager for homosexuality

Noveember 1, 2017 – Africa News

A Somali man and teenager were publicly executed by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab on Tuesday for committing a homosexual act.

20-year-old Isak Abshirow and 15-year-old Abdirizak Sheikh Ali were allegedly caught by al Shabaab fighters having gay sex.

The two were shot dead with another man in a field in Buale in the presence of hundreds of civilians.

“The judge read their charges publicly and the three men were found guilty. They were executed according to the Islamic sharia. They were shot dead in Buale town,” Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdalla, a regional governor for al Shabaab was quoted by Reuters.

The third man executed on the day, Saeed Mohamed Ali, was found guilty of spying for Ethiopian troops.

Al Shabaab is fighting against the Western-backed government forces in the country to impose the Islamic sharia law.

Homosexuality is banned in 34 out of the 54 countries in Africa.

South Africa boasts of being the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation when it introduced its new Constitution in 1996.

Homosexuality is punishable by death In Sudan, southern Somalia and northern Nigeria while in Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts.

*****

Would legalising prostitution be good for economy?

Kenya, APRIL 16, 2014 – Business Daily Africa

 Suspected prostitutes who were arrested in Mtwapa. Photo/FILE

The state of the Kenyan economy is affecting quite a plethora of important matters and feeling the full impact are honest and hardworking Kenyans who are trying to foster employment and create jobs.

High taxes seem to be affecting how business is done and it is hard not to succumb to illegal ways or give up all together.

But there remain businesses that continue to flourish despite the faltering shilling, bureaucracy, corruption, organisational structures and the rising cost of living.

Hard economic times are not only affecting security for businesses and citizens, they are also dividing homes and turning youths into criminals, alcoholics and drug users.

First hit in all this is our moral obligation. The search for money that drives us to work in order to ensure a brighter future is also turning our morals south.

Money has made us forget who we are and where we are from and most importantly who God is.

I was thrown into jail a few months ago and the most interesting cellmates I met were young innocent girls who told me stories about their escapades in prostitution that left me cracking in the ribs but also made me weep inside.

Men and women are turning to questionable ways of trying to make ends meet or satisfy personal hunger while young boys and girls are selling their bodies and integrity for an unsustainable way of earning a living through sex.
For those out to make money with their bodies, sleeping with one person will not quench their financial thirst. That relationship is unlikely to last no matter how long one keeps thinking that their body is a ticket to richness.
The result of the increasing number of people using their bodies for monetary gain is a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
A possible solution could be legalising the sex trade. Prostitution and agriculture might be the oldest forms of business in the globe, mainly because we cannot do without either of them. When you can’t beat them, you choose to join them.
If prostitution was legal and measures were put in place to control it, we could reap some gain as a nation economically.
1. This would control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The law put in place to indict a carrier who deliberately spreads HIV is great. Hence, when one decides to engage in this business it would be mandatory to use protection at all times.
Subsequently, our police do not have to charge red light bystanders for doing what we all know happens all over the world, but they can charge them for not having any condoms on them.
2. It would boost the condom business, especially for the honest business people sacrificing their sleep to sell in the middle of the night.
3. A reasonable tax would be imposed on prostitution and sex work, coupled with a strict age limit that would earn the government some spending money in order to improve on sanitary standards and costs of living.
4. There would be a law that would govern this business hence increasing security at night and during the day.
I do not condone sexual work as I feel the body deserves more than to be sold and it is hard to enjoy the gift of loving with money.
Albeit, European countries that have embraced this controversial legalisation are economically superior.
Legalising and regulating sex work might be a way to strengthen our global financial standing, something that all Kenyans are desperately awaiting to see come true.