1. There are those that are defining of gender and absolute.
These are anatomical differences—men have testicles, penises, and prostate glands, while women have ovaries, vaginas, and breasts. Then there are significant hormonal differences in terms of testosterone and estrogen. There are many more biological differences like these that are not open to debate. They are part of what makes men, men and women, women.
2. There are those that are typical and must be handled with care.
Then there are things that are generally true: men are larger, have greater upper body strength, while women do colors better, are more nurturing, etc. But these things are not always true. And the fact that a woman might be larger than a man or do colors poorly, doesn’t make her any less of a woman. Nor does a man who has a cooking show on HG make him any less of a man. So, gender traits can be a slippery slope if we don’t distinguish between the absolute and typical. We have to be very careful with this because if the typical are passed off as absolutes, it can cause someone to have questions about their gender when there shouldn’t be any.
3. Gender traits have considerable range and can overlap.
Scripture bears witness to this in Jacob and Esau. Esau was a rugged, hairy, hunter and outdoorsman, while Jacob was more of an indoor person who liked to cook and wasn’t hairy. Neither was more of a man than the other. So, it shouldn’t surprise us when Paul speaks of himself, Silas and Timothy practicing the gentleness of a nursing mother among the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8). Many, if not most men, can do this just as women are capable of doing the “encouraging, comforting and urging” that he associates with fathers in v. 11-12.