Gender Identity

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Date Submitted: 06/13/2011 09:36 AM

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Gender Identity


Gender identity is the way in which an individual identifies with a gender category, whether a person sees themselves as a man or woman. There are many factors that determine gender identity whether it be masculinity or femininity. Masculinity and femininity are on opposite ends of a scale, most people find themselves in the middle, and this of course depends on certain traits that are attributed to either males or females.

Stereotypes are one of the factors that determine gender identity. The male stereotype can be described by using such words as masculine, strong, aggressive, courageous, provider, competitive, forceful, adventurous, and self-sufficient or independent. Whereas the female stereotype can be described by using such words as sensitive, caring, delicate, mother, emotional, empathetic, and indecisive. Another factor in determining gender identity is physical appearance. Some factors determining physical appearance in the male identity are large muscles, deep voice, hairy body, and large feet. Female factors of physical appearance are cleavage/boobs, high pitched voice, small feet, and petite body. Another factor in determining gender identity would be that of the Nature vs. Nurture conflict. Meaning in nature biological factors such as genetics and hormones could determine one’s gender identity. From the nurture part of the argument if one’s parents raise a girl to be more masculine she might develop gender identity issues same goes for parents raising a boy to be more feminine.

A person’s masculine and feminine traits can be described using the continuum of masculinity-femininity. On the masculine side of the scale we would find traits such as defending an opinion or belief, being a provider, sexually aggressive, unemotional, logical, rational, intellectual, stoic, adventurous, competitive, playing team sports, being a leader, being forceful, self-sufficient, being an organizer, and being independent. On the feminine...