However, Money's meaning of the word did not become widespread until the 1970s, when feminist theory embraced the concept of a distinction between biological sex and the social construct of gender.

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The modern English word gender comes from the Middle English gender (also gendere, gendir gendyr, gendre), a loanword from Anglo-Norman and Middle French gendre. The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED1, Volume 4, 1900) notes the original meaning of gender as "kind" had already become obsolete.

The word was still widely attested, however, in the specific sense of grammatical gender (the assignment of nouns to categories such as masculine, feminine and neuter).

an important component of the self-concept is derived from memberships in social groups and categories; this is demonstrated by group processes and how inter-group relationships impact significantly on individuals' self perception and behaviors.

The groups people belong to therefore provide members with the definition of who they are and how they should behave within their social sphere.

Because of this, "power" is what determines individual attributes, behaviors, etc.

and people are a part of an ontologically and epistemologically constructed set of names and labels.

One's biological sex is directly tied to specific social roles and the expectations.

Judith Butler considers the concept of being a woman to have more challenges, owing not only to society's viewing women as a social category but also as a felt sense of self, a culturally conditioned or constructed subjective identity.

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity.

Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex (i.e.

The American Heritage Dictionary (2000) uses the following two sentences to illustrate the difference, noting that the distinction "is useful in principle, but it is by no means widely observed, and considerable variation in usage occurs at all levels." In the last two decades of the 20th century, the use of gender in academia has increased greatly, outnumbering uses of sex in the social sciences.