Gender Identity

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Date Submitted: 06/29/2010 01:53 PM

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Cultural Differences: Gender Identity and Sexual Identity/Orientation

Marly Ayala De Rezzio

Cultural Differences: Gender identity and Sexual identity/orientation

* Sex and gender can be easily confounded, yet, sex refers to a biological determination while gender does to psychological and socio-cultural issues such as: role, identity, and sex-role ideology. Researches about sex and gender showed proliferation during the lasts decades, however cross-cultural studies are not that numerous. This paper is intended to point out the significance of gender and sexual issues among cultural diversity.

One of the problems encountered by researches in a valid and reliable way is the lack of instruments to measure constructs like the degree to which individuals identify themselves as masculine, feminine or androgynous (Segall, Dansen, Berry, & Poortinga, 1999) the fact is that the items used in inventories, can be defined differently from one culture/language to another, hence the fact that verbatim translations of self descriptive inventories should be interpreted under a critical criteria.

Segall et al. (1999) cites Travis (1996) who mentions that differences in behavior among sexes are due to other variables that correlate with gender. In most cultures task assignment reflects inherent sex differences in: skills, and labor by sex, setting up social forces leading to differential socialization of the sexes during childhood. This is an example of how cognition relates to sex and culture. A research on cognitive style cited by Segall et al. (1999) revealed sex differences in psychological differentiation, in the same way other authors studying cross cultural variations have found sex differences in perceptual-cognitive tasks which were also related to the degree of food accumulation.

Gender roles

Characteristically, behaviors differ in masculine and feminine individuals, mainly due to social norms and...