Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The concept of gender performance has developed within debates concerning sex, gender, and sexuality in sociology and feminism. Though conceptualized somewhat differently by various scholars, gender performance can be broadly defined as the act of engaging in a set of behaviors that display an individual's gender identity as female or male and that cause the individual to be so perceived during social interaction. The notion of gender performance relies on a division between “sex” and “gender.” Sociologists and feminists have sought to clarify the tendency to conflate these terms by introducing the idea of a sex/gender divide wherein these two concepts are distinct, though related. Sex is defined as biological femaleness or maleness. Gender is a social construction, or set of ideas and expectations about femininity and masculinity. There are various understandings of how gender is performed, and such performance may involve the body (through body modifications such as cutting ...