In the West, it is generally believed that there are only two sexes, male and female, and that each sex has its own particular role in society. However, in their ethnographic fieldwork across the world, anthropologists have noticed that the roles of men and women vary significantly across societies. This has led them to distinguish sex, which is based on biology, from gender which is defined as “the cultural construction of beliefs and behaviors considered appropriate for each sex” (Schultz and Lavenda 237).

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