Nature and Nurture in Gender

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Gender identity Pages: 4 (1633 words) Published: December 11, 2012
Nature and Nurture in Gender
In the field of gender studies, an issue that has recently become quite controversial, is the debate over when a child establishes their own sense of gender identity. John Money argues that both nature and nurture, together, play a role in establishing one’s gender. Money is completely correct; there is not one specific instance in a child’s life that will lead them to determine their gender role; however, it is the accumulation of experiences and exposure to different environments and situations that will lead one to determine their gender identity. It is important to understand that each child develops differently and will determine their gender identity according to individual situations. Surroundings, such as media and friends can also heavily influence one’s formation of gender identity. Probably the most influential role in one’s determination of gender, is the role of the parent. Today, there are so many specific ‘roles’ applied to a specific gender, that, for some, determining a gender has become quite difficult.

John Money brings up the important argument that both nature and nurture play a role in the establishment of one’s gender. Money implements the fact that nature and nurture work together in determining gender roles. Nurture, such as outside surroundings, like media and family, can impact the way one interprets gender roles and what identities belong to each gender. Nature, which is the feelings that one gets from their inner self as well as through one’s genetic make-up, can also be a big factor in determining gender. In James Reed’s article, “Gender Role: The Early History of a Concept,” Money is quoted as stating that, “psychologically, sexuality is undifferentiated at birth and it becomes differentiated as masculine or feminine in the course of the various experiences of growing up” (497). Money’s argument makes a very good point as he states that gender identity can not be determined by one simple factor, but...
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