Biological sex

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Sex is the trait that determines whether a sexually reproducing organism produces male or female gametes. In a human context, it is often distinguished from gender.




  • Inasmuch as peculiarities often appear under domestication in one sex and become hereditarily attached to that sex, the same fact probably occurs under nature, and if so, natural selection will be able to modify one sex in its functional relations to the other sex, or in relation to wholly different habits of life in the two sexes, as is sometimes the case with insects.


  • If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. ... [E]rasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.


  • The poets feign that when the world began,
    Both sexes in one body did remain;
  • ... Come, you spirits
    That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
    And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
    Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
    Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
    That no compunctious visitings of nature
    Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
    The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
    And take my milk for gall, ...
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606), 1.5.
  • With these came they, who from the bordring flood
    Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts
    Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names
    Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
    These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
    Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
    And uncompounded is their Essence pure,
    Not ti’d or manacl’d with joynt or limb,
    Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
    Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
    Dilated or condens’t, bright or obscure,
    Can execute their aerie purposes,
    And works of love or enmity fulfill.
  • You bid me lift my mean desires
      From faltering lips and fitful veins
    To sexless souls, ideal quires,
      Unwearied voices, wordless strains:
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