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Gender Identity

Essay by   •  January 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,658 Words (11 Pages)  •  4,351 Views

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Abstract

Gender identity is 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.

Gender Identity

Determining the factors that make up gender identity is very complex. The process begins at conception, but requires decisive growth processes during pregnancy as well as what is learned after birth. There are conditions in which these factors are distinguished, and there are also many societies maintaining that all people are to be categorized as either man or woman by way of language and tradition. Native Americans, however, believe in the identity of a two-spirit, which includes several gender categories.

According to a source, "Gender identity develops through a process of differentiation: interactions of biological, social, and cognitive-learning factors that occur over time. Differentiation means that a basically similar structure develops differently depending upon the influence of other factors. Chromosomally female and male human fetuses are undifferentiated (have a similar physical form) until after the second month of prenatal development. As development progresses, various influences increase the difference between the sexes" (family.jrank.org, 2010). Altering development in gender and sexual occurs, or does not occur, at different times or during highly perceptive episodes and therefore can be unchangeable. This process starts before birth with the chromosomes that determine sex, development of the ovaries and testes, and the effects that hormones have on the unborn child including effects those hormones have on the brain. The resulting existing design would become female and something more is needed to distinguish between a male.

Masculine and feminine traits can vary greatly using the continuum of masculinity-femininity. Early ideas concerning masculinity and femininity were thought of as representing

separate points of a single continuum. Some recent studies have suggested that masculinity and femininity include individual behavior, appearance, and personality. There are several tools which measure masculinity and femininity, however, individuals are usually asked only about their personal traits. One particular point that has been noticed is how closely the domains of masculine and feminine relate to one another.

According to an article in the Journal of Counseling and Development, "It was commonly believed that masculinity-femininity was bipolar and unifactorial. By this it is meant that masculinity and femininity were conceptualized as opposite ends of a single continuum along which every individual could be placed;

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