Gender Identity

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Date Submitted: 02/09/2014 07:59 AM

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Defining Gender Identity: Hormones and Behavior

Barbara Jackson


January 13, 2014

Dr.Jill Bean


Gender identity can be classified as the way in which individual’s view themselves. This is by either being feminine, masculine, or even at times in-between. Gender role is the way in which individual’s represent themselves within the public in relationship to their specific gender. This includes the way people talk, the clothing that they wear, the manner in which they behave, and really anything that people do or say that identifies their femininity or masculinity. For many people, gender identity is based on the same conformity as their sex and gender role. In this paper the discussion of how hormones, behavior, biological and environmental factors influences ones gender identity.


When it comes to the term ‘gender identity’ it is often misconstrued with ‘gender role or even ‘sexual orientation.’ The endocrine system has a major role when discussing ‘gender identity,’ due to several glands that secrete different hormones. These glands are the: Pituitary, Pineal, Thyroid, Parathyroid, Thymus, Pancreas, and Adrenal Glands as well as the ovaries and testes. These glands generate the hormones responsible for different behaviors either directly or indirectly. “Gender identity is how we feel about and express our gender and gender roles — clothing, behavior, and personal appearance. It is a feeling that we have as early as age two or three” ("Gender and Gender Identity", 2001). While there is much to say about the brain and its relationship to personal gender identity it is also very evident that the interaction between hormones and behavior is a deciding factor as well. Now to look at defining gender identity, biological, environmental and nature versus nurture and their influences on ones’ gender identity.

What is Gender Identity?

Determining the factors that make up gender identity is very complex. The process begins at...