President Barack Obama believes “gender” and “sex” are different things.
In a Monday press release issued to support National Women’s Health Week, Obama declared that affordable health care is a fundamental right — for all sexes and genders.
“The security of quality, affordable health care should not be a privilege — it should be a fundamental right for every person, regardless of their sex or gender,” Obama stated in the proclamation.
The distinction made by the president reflects a growing movement to emphasize that the two words mean different things. According to the World Health Organization, sex “refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women,” while gender “refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”