Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
GENDER. That which designates the sexes.
2. As a general rule, when the masculine is used it includes the feminine, as, man (q. v.) sometimes includes women. This is the general rule, unless a contrary intention appears. But in penal statutes, which must be construed strictly, when the masculine is used and not the feminine, the latter is not in general included. 3 C. & P. 225. An instance to the contrary, however, may be found in the construction, 25 Ed. III, st. 5, c. 2, Sec. 1, which declares it to be high treason, "When a man doth compass or imagine the death of our lord the king," &c. These words, "our lord the king," have been construed to include a queen regnant. 2 Inst. 7, 8, 9; H. P. C. 12; 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 17; Bac. Ab. Treason, D.
3. Pothier says that the masculine often includes the feminine, but the feminine never includes the masculine; that according to this rule if a man were to bequeath to another all his horses, his mares would pass by the legacy; but if he were to give all his mares, the horses would not be included. Poth. Introd. au titre 16, des Testaments et Donations Testamentaires, n. 170; 3 Brev. R. 9. In the Louisiana code in the French language, it is provided that the word fils, sons, comprehends filles, daughters. Art. 3522, n. 1. Vide Ayl. Pand. 57; 4 Car. & Payne, 216; S. C. 19 Engl. Com. Law R. 351; Barr. on the Stat. 216, note; Feme; Feme covert; Feminine; Male; Man; Sex; Women; Worthiest of blood.