Gender and Gender Identity
Gender and Gender Identity
Every human being has a sex, gender, and gender identity from his or her existence. All the above are aspects of their sexuality. Sex is predominantly a biological affair as it includes the hormones, genetic makeup, constitution of body parts and the reproductive organs. Gender refers to the expectations by society on the mannerisms of thoughts and behaviors akin to boys and girls, men and women. It refers to the social, biological, and legal status as men and women. Gender identity is then the feeling of each individual in expressing their own gender and associated roles like behavior, clothing, and appearance on a personal level. Some of the people in society do not identify their identity with particular biological sex and usually are related to transgender. Genetic or biological implications have all been fronted a possible inferences for the gender identity problem. The existence of transgender members in the society has been a muted affair and one held with contempt since the past. Understanding the issues surrounding gender identity can help solve the transgender dilemma.
Existence and Prevalence
Transgender persons in the society have existed and documented in majority of the eastern and western cultures from the antiquity periods into the present day. Despite the attributed existence, uniformity of the involved does not occur from one culture to another. Different identities fall under transgender classification. Transsexuals are individuals with assigned sex that is different from their gender identity. In most cases, transsexuals wish to change their bodies, reproductive organs, or identities through the deliberated use of surgery, hormones, and other congruent-making procedures at their preferences. Galupo and Brienne (83) state that the process of transition with medical intervention is referred to as gender reassignment or typical affirmation. Documented cases of successful transitions and gender changes are backed up by the constant reference to the new identities according to the acquired status. For example, transmen or transwomen prefer their suitable changes and calling rather than transgender.
Culture dictates the existence or non-existence of transgender according to stereotypes. Cross-dressing for example is one of the variations depicted by transgender as they wear clothes that are traditionally associated with the opposite gender in respective culture (Nicolas 22). In most cases, the cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the assigned sex, but do not anticipate changing it with any given procedure. There is no tie to erotic activity, as the form of gender expression does not qualify to indicative sexual orientation. The degree of cross-dressing is different according to the two genders in respective cultures. Some of them are more tolerant to female cross-dressers as compared to the male counterparts depending on the cultural latitude. For entertainers in social amenities, cross-dressers are not termed as transgender, since their function is of aesthetic value without any reference to gender expression or recognition.
The binary constructs between male and female give rise to gender queer representatives of transgender. In most cases, the gender queer individuals associate their existence with a continuum between the male and female identities as well as the biological denotation. They also define the gender terms in wholly different ways as opposed to the accepted societal levels. Some of the pronouns unknown to common people are requested at their disposal for reference such as “hir”, and “zie.” In some of the close quarters, gender queer individual do not regard themselves as transgender owing to their preferential non-conformity to the society. They offer their own secluded terms for reference apart from other transgender. Other variations include multigendered, third gender, androgynous, gender nonconforming a well as two-spirit people. The common denomination in their existence and prevalence is akin to alternating genders or sense of belonging to particular groupings.
The genetic and hormonal influences are responsible for development of gender identity. The biochemistry theory is in particular explanation of the gender acquisition in regarding the socialization effect especially with the genes and hormones. At the initial stage of fetal development, the sex-determining hormone is first produced. The differential composition of the hormones determines the existence of either ovaries or testes. When the prenatal hormones are changed or altered in any way, progression of the phenotypic denotation is also altered (Kellaway 1). Thus, any natural bran deposition towards the sex will automatically have different matches to the genetic makeup of the growing fetus. In addition, the sexual organs will also fall under the same category. One of the possible conditions that can arise is the existence of chromosomal alterations where the growing child lacks both sets of normal ones.
Social and environmental factors also contribute to the gender identity of a child. Parental attitudes and the culture surrounding the child’s environs all contribute to the feeling of expressing their own gender and associated roles like behavior, clothing, and appearance. The views held in matters that concern sexuality and gender by authoritative figures, senior members, and parents have great influence to a child’s upbringing. Observation and reproduction as well as subsequent repetition through imitation are all pointers to support or non-conforming mechanisms to particular gender identities. In addition, the cultures of respective peoples have influence through maintained opinions and standards regarding sexuality. It is more adept to the male members of society in depicting the masculine attributes and traits compared to the expectation in females. Homogenetic constructions are closely linked to maintained traditional attributes and abilities of the feminine members (Guillen 6).
Nature versus nurture debate through psychology identifies gender determination by socialization as well as the biological factors. The influential behaviors are shown by the gender roles and sex differences. However, it is complicated to determine the separate impacts of genetic variables and impacts of socialization. Nature deals with the hormonal effects in any given individual as well as the genetic make up. Some gender variations identities are harbored from variant genes in the bodies. According to Sanlo (18) nurturing environment together with the paternal influences, have their corresponding effects to the identity, apart from nature. Values and behaviors are created by the parents and the children borrow on the same. Once there is a conflict of the two systems, classification of the identity is surrounded by mystery to the individual. It also contributes to controversies in changed or altered sexual orientations with time.
Discrimination and Tolerance
Some of the legislative policies and directives in the country do not offer anti-discrimination authority towards the transgender members of the society. The policies do not cover expression or identity of the various persons affected (Jones and Barron 17). In the different states across the country, discrimination is leveled on the transgender members across all aspect of life. Pervasive and severe forms of bias have been witnessed over the years towards them, and most instances are condoned throughout without remorse. Issues regarding employment, health care, housing, education, legal systems, and family perspectives are not in favor of the transgender community. Additional identities like races, ethnical backgrounds, religious beliefs, or affiliations, socioeconomic statuses within the communities, age factors, and disability have all enhanced different levels of discrimination in the world. Subsequent effects are responsible for psychological stress, compounded crimes, or withdrawal from the community.
Various prepositions have been made on the tolerance levels and measures put in place towards the recognition of transgender members of the society. Different socio-cultural groups and affiliations have been established in support of the members according to their preferences, gender identity, and orientations. Various lobbying factions have also been instituted with legal backing and policy formation as means of fighting for their rights and freedoms within the societies. Particular interests with issues regarding transgender members according to race, social classes, religions, disability, and ages have been addressed in order to bridge the gap on identity, presentation, and acceptance with other members of the society. In addition, consulted efforts on worldwide audiences have increased the efforts towards recognition of minority and maligned members of the society through activism, non-governmental support, and demonstrations.
issues surrounding gender identity can help solve the transgender dilemma. The
society is advised on acquiring information regarding the transgender issues
through informative books, attending of administered conferences, consultation
with transgender experts as well as interaction with the individual members. Changes
in attitudes towards the members and rightful use of names and pronouns can
also facilitate easier association and understanding while limiting conflicts.
Enacting, upholding and maintaining of policies that promote their recognition,
protection of human rights and freedoms are all appealing steps in clear
understanding of the transgender society.
Galupo, Paz and Brienne, Hagen. “Transgender Friendships Experiences: Benefits and Barriers of Friendships Across gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.” SAGE Journals 17.2 (2014): 79-94. Print.
Guillen, Nicolas. “Americans translated by Tato Laviera.” Latin America Literature Review 2.3 (1973): 1-17. Print.
Jones, Liz, and Ian Barron. Research and Gender. London: Continuum, 2007. Print.
Kellaway, Mitch. Duke University Press Debuts Academic Journal for Transgender Studies. Advocate, 27 May 2014. Web. 21 July 2015. < http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/05/27/duke-univ-press-debuts-academic-journal-transgender-studies >
Nicolas, Peter. Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Constitution. Durham, N.C: Carolina Academic Press, 2013. Print.
Sanlo, Ronni L. Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation: Research, Policy, and Personal Perspectives. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.
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