The comment on this question got me thinking about this wording: How can I delete my contributions and account to Parenting.SE?

I suggest we should set a policy on which term to use and edit as needed to maintain it.

  • I've placed my answer to this as an answer instead of in the question... if someone wants to advocate the opposite answer they're welcome to do so.
    – cabbey
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


I don't see any problem here, since there is a clear distinction between "sex" and "gender" in English:

"gender" refers to culture and should be used when referring to men and women as social groups, while "sex" refers to biology and should be used when biological distinctions are emphasized.


  • did you see the outraged parent comment I linked to? clearly for some folks, there is a problem.
    – cabbey
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 17:19
  • 2
    You have to realize that most non-native English speakers have a heavy bias concerning the word SEX. It's not their fault; let's blame the media. Also, I can imagine there's a certain fear of what the word implies in terms of what opposite-gender kids might do. Simply using the unambiguous word GENDER instead is such an easy workaround to these situations, I think there's rarely an argument against it. Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 18:06
  • 1
    @torbengb Even if that's the case, I think it's a bit odd that native English speakers should be required (on an English Q&A site) to modify their verbiage in a case like this. I've also seen instances where "sex" was actually less strong a word for ESL speakers because, not being their native language, it doesn't have the knee-jerk reaction of "sex omg!" that it may for a native-language speaker of English.
    – Amelia
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 10:27
  • @Arlen: your "knee-jerk" comment is interesting because I see it the other way round; sex is more an act than a gender. I'm sure the simplest solution is that we all simply need to learn that it's okay to use sex and not edit every mention into gender. Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:38

I think for the benefit of non-english-as-a-first-language folks we should settle on "gender". So for exampe:

"same sex" --> "same gender"
"opposite sex --> "opposite gender"

  • is there a typo in your answer? should it be opposite sex --> opposite gender? or am I missing something? Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 3:14
  • good catch David, fixed.
    – cabbey
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 4:40

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