Sexual development is an important personal characteristic that contributes to ones self-worth. It is the way one sees him or her independent of one’s anatomic appearance. The way one feels and the way one is acknowledged by society and the environment can make the difference between being happy or unhappy. Whether or not one’s choice is accepted by others can also influence how one lives. Unfortunately, sexual development is often confused because it is most often assumed to agree with one’s appearance. Very often, it does but sometimes it differs. Simply because something seems or is supposed to be a certain way due to one’s societal expectations, does not mean that it always will be. Things are not always the way they appear and it takes much greater knowledge and understanding to accept people for what they are, even if it does not go along with what one learned.
Keywords: Gender, male and female, hormones, environment
Everyone possesses a gender identity, which most often matches one’s anatomic appearance. One’s sexual development can be either male or female or even something in between. Is sexual development truly so important or does it not play that significant of a role? Maybe this example will help everyone come to a better conclusion about this subject. A healthy baby boy was born to very happy parents. However, about eight months into his life, something happened and his genitals were horrifically destroyed. His biggest male appearance at that age, his penis, did not exist anymore. His parents, completely disturbed by the accident, heard about a psychologist who was able to assign sex to children whose genitals were destroyed or not there for another reason. According to Culbertson (2009), “If it is not created, then the child will be assigned a grammatical gender (in the Western world, all children must be either a boy or a girl), which may or may not match that child's social gender as it evolves over the course of childhood” (para. 14). Very often, when a parent chooses the sex for his or her own child due to the circumstances, it seems to work very well. However, prenatal hormones also influence these factors in either working or not. Nevertheless, it did not work in this case and this boy began to live an unhappy life as a girl. Time went by and many problems occurred until she saw another psychologist. Her parents finally told her what happened and she began the transformation into a male. It seems like being a male made him happier once again and he even married and became a stepfather. However, this story does not have a successful conclusion, as David Reimer committed suicide at the age of 38 (New York Times, 2004). This tragic story shows that one’s sexual development matters. It also explains that there is more than one factor that contributes to one’s sexual development. Therefore, the author of this paper will try to provide a better understanding into how gender identity and sexual development happens. The interaction between hormones and behavior will be explained and what role it plays in finding his or her own gender indentify in sexual development. As usual, it will also use the help of biopsychology and the environment to provide a better answer for the reader. The author hopes that the reader will not only establish a deeper knowledge about this subject but mostly that he or she will walk away with more understanding for individualism. Determination of Sexual Development
Many different factors come into play determining one’s final sexual development. It is very important to acknowledge that not everything that appears a certain way also will perform as such. One’s anatomy might indicate being a male or female; however, this does not mean that this is actually how a person views him or herself. Chromosomes play a very important role in developing sexual organs. Sexual chromosomes, such as XX and XY, help determine sexual...
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