What is gender?

Until recently, outside of specialist circles, the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ meant the same thing – a straightforward way of distinguishing between men and women.  Increasingly, a distinction is made between biological sex and gender – a set of social expectations and characteristics associated with masculinity and femininity.   The transgender movement suggests that the gender is entirely distinct from sex, but is also inherent in the individual.  Is it possible for society to have a consensus on what sex and gender mean?

The speakers are Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, group leader, stem cell biology and developmental  genetics, Francis Crick Institute; Professor Marilyn Strathern, emeritus professor of social anthropology, University of Cambridge; Dr Terri Murray, director of studies, Hampstead College of Fine Arts and Humanities; Chrissie Daz, schoolteacher, cabaret performer,  writer on transgender and gender variant identity.  The chair is Sandy Starr, communications officer, Progress Educational Trust.