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Dictionary Definition: Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity. 

There are various approaches to the body and its gender with the main distinction being that between the ‘physical body’ and the ‘lived body’, between an objective characterisation of the body, such as we find in natural scientific inquiry ( anatomy, physiology, neurology, biology and chemistry), and an experiential characterization that describes certain structures of our body in terms appropriate to the way we are and have a body, which is to say, to the way it is involved with human environments.

While the social sciences sometimes approach gender as a social construct, and gender studies particularly do, research in the natural sciences investigates whether biological differences in males and females influence the development of gender in humans; both inform debate about how far biological differences influence gender identity formation. 

In Performance the body and how it is made to perform is in direct link to viewpoints mentioned above that distinguish between an objective characterisation of the body to a more experiential one. 

Author and translator: Zoi Dimitriou