Gender Identity Paper

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Gender Identity Paper
Melanie Johnson
University of Phoenix
PSY/340
December 2, 2012
Dr. W. Scott Benson

Gender Identity
Hormones play a crucial part in the determination of gender and development of male or female genitalia of an embryo. The timing of the release of these hormones is also crucial. There are two ways hormones influence sex; (1) by influencing the development from conception to sexual maturity of anatomical, physiological, and behavioral characteristics that distinguish males and females, (2) by activating the reproduction-related behavior of sexually mature adults (Pinel, 2009). This paper will attempt to discuss some of the effects hormones, biological, and environmental factors have on an individual’s sexuality.

When a baby is born usually the first statement out of the doctor’s mouth is “it is a boy” or “it is a girl”. Society has traditionally believed one is born either male or female. If one is born male he is expected to be masculine, be attracted to women, and to pursue hobbies and behaviors considered to be manly. If one is born female she is expected to be feminine, to be attracted to men, and to pursue hobbies and behaviors considered to be feminine. Occasionally an individual may be born with nonconforming gender identity. What this means is an individual may be born with male or female genitalia but actually have interest and behaviors of the opposite sex. For individuals with this conflicting belief life may be extremely painful. Society deems one either male or female and has developed certain schemas for each gender. However one’s emotional gender identity may be contrary to what society has deemed the individual.

A single sperm cell which fertilizes an ovum, or egg, is called a zygote. A zygote contains all the information essential for the normal growth of a complete adult organism in its natural environment (Pinel, 2009). The zygote contains 23 pairs of chromosomes; half from the producer of the sperm and half...
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