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HUM 305 Sex & Culture - Mendelman

Resources and information in support of Prof. Mendelman’s Humanities 305

Researching Sex and Culture

Tip: Define your terms to be clear about what your paper will discuss.


From the Oxford English Dictionary

4a.The distinction between male and female, esp. in humans; this distinction as a social or cultural phenomenon, and its manifestations or consequences; (in later use esp.) relations and interactions between the sexes; sexual motives, instincts, desires, etc.

4b. Physical contact between individuals involving sexual stimulation; sexual activity or behaviour, spec. sexual intercourse, copulation. to have sex (with): to engage in sexual intercourse (with).

"sex, n.1." OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, Accessed 8 November 2018.



Tip: Use synonyms for your terms in your searches. Academic databases use scholarly terms to best identify the subjects they discuss.

Gender and Gender Roles

From the Dictionary of American History

As a term, "gender" refers to the social construction of sex or the psychosocial concomitants to sexed identity. Feminists, in particular, have relied on distinctions between sex as biological and gender as cultural to argue that women's oppression is historical and not inevitable. Yet at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in both feminist theory and popular discourse, "gender" has come to replace "sex" as a term referring to sexual difference in a biological sense. This shifting definition is a result, at least in part, of gender's introduction into modern discourse as a medical concept used to explain a person's felt sense of his or her lived identity as a sex.

Hausman, Bernice L. "Gender and Gender Roles." Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., vol. 3, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp. 515-521. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 10 Oct. 2018.

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