In Emily Martin's The Egg and the Sperm, Martin argues that accounts of reproductive systems, particularly in biology textbooks and academic work on reproduction are colored by social constructions about sex and gender. She supports this argument with examples of specific word choices and stylistic choices to personify the two gametes (egg and sperm) as male and female respectively. For example, she explains that sperm production is portrayed as an explosive, incredible-to-behold process, while egg production is portrayed as degenerative and wasteful. Sperm are personified as active, while eggs are personified as passive. Even the newer scientific literature, which report a more active role for the egg, are likely to portray the egg as the deadly femme fatale, another negative female stereotype. The portrayals of these gametes as acting out the traditional gender roles typically associated with the male and female sex further "naturalizes" sex differences not actually rooted in biology.
In Chapter 8 of Riki Wilchins' Queer Theory, Gender Theory, Wilchins argues that, like race (in which skin color is biological, but the meanings associated with skin color are socially constructed), sex has a visible biological component, namely different genitalia, but the meanings associated with those genitals are socially constructed. Wilchins suggests that individuals studying biological sex place far too much emphasis on finding the differences between the assumed two sexes, as those types of results will warrant grant money. He offers the example of a study in which the results were not statistically significant to demonstrate difference between sexes, yet those differences are what we "hold dear". Further, Wilchins demonstrates through a summary of biological study through time that historically, individuals did not assume that there were two separate sexes, and that the concept of two "opposite" sexes is a relatively new concept (within the last 400 years or so).