In alot of contexts "Gender" refers to a societal role - masculine or feminine; sex refers to biology - male or female.
This is an intriguing distinction and one that I think I understand, based on your explanation, but it's a fine distinction that I don't recall encountering anywhere else before. There are several possible reasons for this. It could be that you're describing a distinction in terms that's more common in the UK, where you are, or in Europe, but less-often seen in the USA, where I'm at. Or, it may be a distinction that's more common in academic circles or feminist circles, perhaps? I took a literature course with a strong feminist slant as an undergraduate in college, and I didn't encounter the word-distinction you describe there, but I didn't get any farther into the world of "gender studies".
To put it another way, imagine I worked as a brickie. I'd still be female - I have boobs and ovaries and all kinds of stuff. So my sex would be unchanged. However, brickies and other construction workers are stereotypically a male job so it could be argued I was taking on a masculine gender. I'm cis-female but if I weren't I would to some definitions of the term be female sexed but masculine gendered.
This makes good sense as you describe it, but unless Somnifera speaks up and affirms this particular usage of the terms, I don't expect that we'll be making use of this particular distinction in the terminology. When I used the term "gender" in the thread titles, I was simply referring to the representation of women (female characters) in comics, as opposed to the representation of men (male characters). The finer distinction about their biological sex versus their culturally-defined, perceived gender is a distinction that I think might be too much to expect to see in the relatively unsophisticated, one-dimensional world of the superhero genre.
Anyone else (Somne? anyone?) want to chime in on this terminology issue? I am by no means an expert on feminism or gender topics, so this may be part of my learning curve in figuring out how to talk about these issues. But if so, we'll just call this my first lesson. :)
However, it's pretty clear from your response that I've overthought this, though, and wasted your time in the process. You've answered my question, thanks.
No apology necessary! It's a pleasure to know that you've looked at these threads and (hopefully) will read along and add your thoughts as we move forward. That's the whole idea of the exercise, so anything you have to say on these topics is of interest to me (and to Somnifera as well, I imagine).
Oh, also, about this
In case you're interested though, Wikipedia has, predictably enough, a series of articles on this. Start with Gender
I skimmed the article and found the organization of the article perplexing ... there seemed to be several unexpected and perhaps inappropriate digressions into geographic-region-specific information. On a first glance, it looked to me like one of the many Wikipedia articles that lacks basic coherence of structure. I find that many Wikipedia articles, especially longer ones, suffer from the hodgepodge of clashing priorities of the numerous contributors, so that the amount of space given to each subpoint bears no relation to the actual relative importance of each subpoint. I don't know if that made sense ... All I mean is that many Wikipedia articles have glaring organizational problems, and this one seemed like a good example of that to me.
At any rate, I didn't find a clear explanation of the "gender" vs. "sex" terminology in that article, at least not one that corresponded to the distinction you seem to make. Did I overlook it? I didn't read it closely at all. Perhaps you could excerpt/quote the relevant sentences here?