“Sex” versus “Gender”: A Renewed Plea


  • Mary Riege Laner

    1. Professor of sociology and women's studies at Arizona State University, has focused her research on a number of courtship- and marriage-related topics. Recent articles have dealt with various aspects of teaching college students about marital expectations and with scripts for first dates. Dr. Laner wrote the “Singles” article in the Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family (1995) and the “Courtship” article for the forthcoming revision of the Encyclopedia of Sociology. Her most recent book is about dating processes.
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Evidence from scholarly journals, texts, and other sources indicates that the terms “sex” and “gender” continue to be used incorrectly, despite earlier pleas to remedy this and related errors (e.g., the terms sex role, gender role, male/female). I advance the plea again, in the hope of reducing confusion and thereby improving scholarly communication with our students and one another.