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The word is from the Latin generare, to beget, and the noun genus, which is a race or breed. In English, there is the verb ‘to engender’. The term ‘gender’ itself means the sex of a person or animal, but it is a more euphemistic word than ‘sex’. It is used as a grammatical term when learning languages, such as French or Spanish in which all nouns (not just living creatures) are masculine or feminine.

It became, however, an important term in the necessary polemics which accompanied the strong revival of feminism which began in the 1970s. The intellectual feminist judged it important to distinguish between sex, which was a largely biological term, and gender, which represented the sexual differentiation produced by culture.

Gender has always ...

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