Problems That Cause Gender Identity Conflicts

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Hormones, Behavior and Gender
Douglas E. Lee
PSY/340
May 29th 2012
Dr. Patricia Stem

Hormones, Behavior and Gender
Man or Woman? How is gender determined in mammals? Majority of people assume that the presence of a penis and testes makes a male a male, or the presence of breasts and vagina makes a female a female. This assumption is only partially true; the remainder of gender identity is determined by hormones, chromosomes, and environment. Behavior that identifies male or female genders is generally determined by society and environment. In some cases behavior and physical characteristics can be altered due to an imbalance of hormones. Because animals do not exhibit psychological problems with gender identity, human beings are chosen to be the prime source of discussion for this report. Estrogen and androgens are the two most common gonadal hormones produced in the human body. Of the estrogen hormones, estradiol is the prevalent hormone produced within women’s bodies, this hormone is essential for the development of the uterus and mammary glands (breasts) (Pinel, 2009). Testosterone is the prevalent of the androgens within males (Pinel, 2009), and is responsible for more body hair, larger build and deeper voices in males. If a male has a hormonal imbalance that causes estrogen to have more dominance than the androgens, he could be considered feministic within our culture, thus creating gender confusion within his mind. This same problem occurs with women also if their hormone balance is reversed. The true definition of man or woman lies within the chromosomes, a woman has a pair of chromosomes that are XX, men’s chromosomes are XY. Once a sperm cell penetrates the egg wall the chromosomes of both the man and woman merge to give the zygote the 23 chromosomes needed to form human life. The sperm is responsible for determining the gender of the baby; all eggs produced by the ovaries all contain an X chromosome. In some rare cases additional chromosomes can...
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