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Beyond the machismo

Simon Cowap
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (2): .
Published online: 10 April 2007

What makes a man a man? Once this might have been a simple question. Since feminism and sociobiology, however, things have got a lot more complicated. Firstly, there is the distinction between sex and gender. Sex is a matter of being biologically male or female. Gender is a broader concept, incorporating social roles, norms and psychological traits, and is a key determinant of personal identity. Spaces and objects, as well as people, may be gendered: a Hummer is masculine, while a Ford Focus, even without a chihuahua accidentally left on the roof, is more feminine.

  • Simon Cowap


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