Defining the Body

The body exists as a shell (we see the body). It exists as a container (the person's body). Meaning and metaphorical reality are inferred from and transmitted through this shell. The body can act and be acted upon. The body can be active (initiating action) or reactive (responding to action). The body both displays and participates in the creation of the self (self-identity). It contains the brain, supposed seat of the mind, and yet the mind and spirit are also viewed as both part of and yet not part of the body. To a certain degree, the body is plastic in its ability to alter its physical construct to meet assorted needs, both internal as well as external. These alterations can lead to alterations that become learned behaviors, increased or decreased capabilities, and eventually even embodied actions that transcend the conscious attempt to understand them. The body can be viewed as separate from the mind or unified with it in a holistic fusion. The body has location in space and time. Fausto-Sterling (2000) addresses the complexity of the issues associated with the interplay of the body and sex.

The advent of political correctness added to the problems of dealing with this terminology by creating increased confusion over sex and gender and by creating an atmosphere of increased confusion wherein the two words became interchangeable. Further, the conservative religious backlash could not deal with sexuality or sex in any form. Therefore, all reference to "sex" was squashed. The politically correct world provided the perfect atmosphere for the conservatives to squelch the use of "sex" in any document and to replace it with "gender." For the fun of it, the first thing that I did, while writing this introductory section, was to ask MS Word to look up the word "sex" in its built-in dictionary. As it is programmed to do, MS Word automatically gives synonyms and it provided the word "gender" as a synonym for "sex." One of the most widely used word-processing programs identifies sex and gender as interchangeable. Even the online Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, which yields three entries for gender, lists entry 2 as "sex." Pryzgoda and Chrisler (2000) ask the question: "Do people actually know what the word gender means?" In their paper, they report that for a sample of n = 137 study participants a "variety of understandings and beliefs about gender that range from the common response that 'gender' is the same as 'sex' to less common responses that associate gender with females or discrimination" occurred.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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