Gender: Determined by Nurture or Nature

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Michael Sacks
10/30/11
College Writing 2
Prof. Neilson

Gender: Determined by Nurture or Nature?
Remember the good old days when gender was a simple matter? A person was born a boy, grew up playing with trucks, cars, and action figures, became a man and father, and worked to support his family. A person would be born a girl, played with dolls as a little girl, grew into a woman, gave birth to children, and lived as a mother. That was then; now, it is a bit less cut and dry. People are born feeling like they are trapped in the wrong bodies and they change their gender. There are also scientists who believe a person’s gender can be determined by how he or she is raised. Ultimately it is not one or the other that determines a person’s gender, but rather a mix of both factors: what gender a person is born as, and how they are raised. A mix of nurture and nature determine gender identity.

The way a person is raised can play a large role in his or her gender. For years society has decided how a male person should act and how a female person should act. Boys play with trucks and action figures and girls play with dolls and do each other’s hair. There is no law published that states this is how it has to be, but these socially constructed perceptions have been drilled into peoples’ heads to become almost equivalent to law. The story “Bros before Hos: The Guy Code,” by Michael Kimmel, outlines all the unwritten rules of “being a man” in today’s society, like men do not cry, or do not ask for directions, or show any signs of weakness at all. Breaking any of these unwritten rules is considered unmanly or even girly. One of the many problems with these unwritten rules is that there is so much emphasis on them that focus is brought away from the true aspects of their gender children need to know to aid in their gender identity. Scientific aspects of their gender, such as the function of their penis or vagina or the menstrual cycle for girls can get...
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