Gender Identity

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Topics: Gender
There are a couple factors that determine gender identity; like genetic factors, environmental situations, psychosocial factors, and even sexual hormones. “Gender identity is almost always consistent with chromosomal sex.” (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. 2005). From the moment sperm fertilized an ovum, our destiny to be a girl or a boy is chosen. Usually at this point; 23 chromosomes from the male donor and 23 from the female come together and combine to make a “zygote”. Starting about six weeks into the pregnancy, our bodies began to form and create into what they are meant to be, and after the seventh week, our genetic code (XY or XX) begins to really assert itself. Gender identity is not always a term referring to a person’s anatomic sex, “sex assignment” is now the correct term to ask a person their anatomic sex that occurred at birth. It is said that by 36 months old, most children are said to have a firm sense of their gender identity. Our genes play an important role in determining our gender identity. The SRY gene (which is the gene that determines the Y male gene) will bind to DNA and distort, and alter it, creating the testes. The gene called Sox 9 is the gene that regulates the expression of SRY. If Sox 9 did not get to regulate the SRY gene; it would turn into a male fetus. We without help from the SRY gene, female reproductive organs would form instead of male organs. “Recent research suggests that as many as one in every hundred individuals may have some intersex characteristics.” (Domurat, 1998).
Some people do not believe that their gender identity corresponds with their biological sex (mainly transgender people, but also including; transsexuals and inter-sexed individuals as well.) Difficulties can begin because society maintains that a person must accept a manner of social gender roles, which is based on their sex, and the person may feel that it is not consistent with their gender identity. This is known as “gender identity



References: Domurat, A. D. (1998). Hermaphrodites and the medical invention of sex. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., & Rathus, L. F. (2005). Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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