Gender vs sex

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For a long time I’ve thought that  the currnent fashion for  using “gender” to refer to people as opposed to grammar was a recent fad associated with political correctness. But it seems I was wrong. I’ve just come across this in Tristram Shandy (Ch2.XXVIII).

To those who do not yet know of what gender Bruscambille is – inasmuchas a prologue on long noses noses might easily be done by either…

So that puts the usage back at least to 1759.

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