The Case for Recognizing Sex

Why is sex important?

“More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed by gynocide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century. That should be an international scandal.”

— Nicholas D. Kristof, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

The recognition of the sexes female and male is important medically, legally and to acknowledge the existence of women’s sex based oppression as the quote above shows. Listed below are some sex differences related to oppression, medicine and law.

Sex based oppression

The following experiences primarily affect girls and women (females):

  • Sex-selective abortion
  • Infanticide
  • Child marriage
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Breast ironing
  • Acid attacks
  • Child prostitution, pornography and/or trafficking
  • Workplace violence and/or sexual harassment
  • Partner violence or domestic abuse
  • Sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape

By refusing to acknowledge sex based differences and/or redefining terms, it becomes difficult to address sex based oppression.


Women and men have differences in:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Diseases
  • Disease symptoms
  • Disease prevalence
  • Medication dosing
  • Health outcomes

Without classifying or acknowledging sex, these differences cannot be adequately known or evaluated on an individual basis by medical professionals.


Historically, the validity of sex-based protections for women has been recognized in protected areas such as:

  • Bathrooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Women’s colleges
  • Sports
  • Women’s shelters, support groups or crisis centers
  • Prisons

In addition, sex-segregation is important to:

  • Title IX
  • Women’s health resources, statistics and research grants
  • Crime statistics

With the rise in gender identity protections, we are seeing an erosion of sex-based protections for women in these categories.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s