Engender - gender

From Hull AWE
Jump to: navigation, search

The verb 'to engender' has no current real connection with the noun gender. (It used to do.)

  • 'To engender' means 'to originate', 'to create', 'to cause to come into being' or (less correctly) 'to cause to happen'. It is no longer limited to the idea of procreation - of 'making babies' - which is a function of what some people mean by 'gender'.
  • Gender itself is a confused and confusing concept - see Gender - sex for a brief indication of one of the main problems.
In Early Modern English, the word 'to engender could be used to mean 'to beget', 'to father', and indeed, more loosely, 'to conceive', 'to mother'. Until the early nineteenth century, it was even used to mean 'to copulate', 'to have sex [with]'. This has nothing to do with current usage.
Do not use engender to talk about having children.