Daily Archives: November 24, 2011

More on Sexual Difference

Even though sexual and gender differences between men and women are not the simple construct of social mores or personal development, men and women are not polar opposites. Sexual differences do not result in two separate, parallel worlds.

Sexual difference is primarily attributable to one’s identity as a man or woman. This maleness or femaleness plums the depth of who one is as a person – body, mind and spirit. Sexual difference is not just a matter of “function”. It is a matter of personhood, hence the importance always of understanding the primacy of the person in the Church’s social and moral teaching.

Men may nurture, but he does so as a man. Women may provide, but she does so as a woman. Masculinity and femininity is first and foremost a matter of being, not a matter of doing. Sexual difference is neither solely a matter of anatomy (though it is thoroughly connected and enfleshed with it) nor just a matter of function. It is a matter of person — either male or female — living in the world.

It is a matter of sexual complementarity and the desire for union in response to love which begets new life.