This confusion has origins in the revolution that the French feminist Simone de Beauvoir initiated after the Second World War.
Before the publication of Beauvoir’s in 1949, science and philosophy assumed that society’s prevailing opinions about men and women were grounded in sex so that gender corresponded to sex. She drew a distinction between gender (society’s prevailing opinions about what man and woman should be) and sex or biology (the seemingly immutable characteristics of the body and closely linked psychological traits).
This notion—that biological sex can be willfully separated from gender—originated in the arguments of influential radical feminists writing from the 1950s through the 1970s.Yet whether this new world will prove to be fit for human flourishing remains to be seen.Many intractable controversies in today’s culture wars relate to issues of sex and gender.You can download the data I used here.) You’ll notice a couple things in the last two graphs: Older people in the sample report having sex less frequently and people without a regular sexual partner report having sex came to the conclusion that adults were having sex about nine fewer times per year in the 2010s than they were in the 1990s.The effect was uneven across generations: When the researchers controlled for age, they found that Americans born in the 1930s were having sex frequently—again, controlled for age—than Americans born in the 1990s.