Gender That Does Not Exist in Lithuanian Gender Studies

Alina Žvinklienė


The article is devoted to encourage a scientific discussion about using the both terms lytis - sex and gender in Lithuanian academic language or at least to pay more attention to that issue. The present translation of both terms into only lytis - sex often leads up to mis-representing the meanings of the original terms. It is noted that according to the feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti gender "is a culture-specific term and consequently untranslatable".
From the point of view of sociological theory categories of sex and gender belong to the different traditions of social knowledge. Sex is a category of essentialist (positivistic) approach to the explanation of social reality. Meanwhile gender is a category of con-structionist approach to the interpretation of social real-ity and is defined as a social construct.
It is stressed that criticism of the feminist gender theory is directed against both a biological determinism i.e. an essentialist notion of the sex and a feminist no-tion of gender as the cultural or social correlates.
It is argued that distinction between both terms lytis - sex and gender in women's and gender studies, and attention to the history of the term gender helps the most adequate in meaning translation of English politi-cal and scientific phraseology into Lithuanian lan-guage.

Alina Žvinklienė
Socialinių tyrimų institutas
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