Gender Identity

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Date Submitted: 02/09/2011 02:53 PM

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Gender Identity

Amanda Boyd


Ratonya Bennett

Gender identity is a subjective, continuous belief of how a person perceives his, or herself as either masculine (male), feminine (female), or both. This belief is continual without regard to sexual orientation (preference), or gender role. Gender role is the behaviors, beliefs, and values considered acceptable by our culture, society, family values, and teachings, which define masculinity, and femininity Gender role is not as persistent as gender identity, which has been demonstrated in western cultures and societies, wherein women are taking vocations once thought to be reserved for men.  With few exceptions, as with transsexuals experiencing gender dysphonia, our gender identity is set prenatally from our (biological) anatomic sex, which has been determined by chromosomal genetics. After birth the hormonal balances of the gonads the chromosomes have created further our gender identity, which will usually remain constant throughout our lives.

We now understand that femininity and masculinity are not innate but are based upon social and cultural conditions. Anthropologist Margaret Mead addressed the issue of differences in temperament for males and females in Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935). This early study led to the conclusion that there are no necessary differences in traits or temperaments between the sexes. Observed differences in temperament between men and women were not a function of their biological differences. Rather, they resulted from differences in socialization and the cultural expectations held for each sex.

In this world, that is full of differences, where every person is different, and no two people are alike, it seems like no one shares the same, interests, appearances, traits or anything else. There is however, one thing that everyone has in common; they possess an individual gender identity. It does not matter where you live, what you wear, who you know, or...