Gender Identity Conflict

Topics: Gender, Sex, Male Pages: 5 (880 words) Published: January 23, 2000
In the story "X: A Fabulous Child's
Story," a child is raised as an X.
An X is a child who is assigned to
a neutral gender by its parents and
scientists. The parents of X raise
the child to both girl and boy
standards. This, however, is just a
story. Raising a child with an
assigned gender is impossible. Many
factors go into the development of
gender and gender identity.
Theorists state that the issue of
gender identity is based on the
society where the child grows.
Others believe that gender identity
is based on the physical traits of
the individual. Another aspect of
attempting to raise a child without
a specific gender is the fact of
isolation. An individual would be
isolated by the society because
they do not fit the social norms in
the society.

First, we have to define gender
identity. "Richard Ashmore defines
gender identity as ‘the structured
set of gendered personal identities
that results when the individual
takes the social construction of
gender and the biological ‘facts'
of sex and incorporates them into
an overall self-concept'
(512)"(Frable par 7). Lawrenece
Kohlberg defines gender identity as
the "cognitive self-categorization
as ‘boy' or ‘girl'"(Frable par 5).
This means that the individual will
form a gender from their
understanding of those ideas, sex
and social construction of gender.
A child will then form a gender
after recognizing other peoples
gender in their surroundings, and
gender continues over time and does
not change by wishes and is
permanent (Frable par 5). Once a
child chooses a gender then they
imitate a model of the same gender
to get a grasp of attributions of
stereotypes to male and female
figures, to measure of gender
schematic processing, attitudes
toward boys and girls, and gender
discrimination in reward allocation
(Frable par 6).

Researchers say that the gender
differences between males and
females is because of some physical
aspect. These aspects range from
different physical composition of
the brain, to different levels of
different hormones. For instance,
during maturation in the womb, the
male embryo is exposed to two
hormones critical to further male
differentiation (Reiner par 2).
These hormones also have "hormonal
effects [that] extend into other
organ systems as well, including
the central nervous system" (Reiner
para 2). The biological differences
in the individual would make a
significant impact on the gender
identity of the person. Even the
type of body influences the gender
of an individual. By the social
norms of body type the individual
obtains a grasp of which gender
pertains to them (McDermid et al.
Para 4). Even though the person my
not fit the stereotypes of
male/female genders, a side will
eventually be favored.

Case studies have been don on
individuals who have been assigned
one gender; then later in their
life their body rejects that
assigned gender and displays their
true gender. One example of an
assigned gender failing is in the
case study of V.P. There were no
problems in the pregnancy or
delivery. The baby was healthy, and
no questions were raised as to
gender or to phenotype, nor did the
parents ever have reason to
question the baby's health or
physical status (Reiner par 6).
However, at the age of 8 V.P.
discovered that she was not female.
By the age of 9 she was
discontinuing acting like a female.
In high school after a referral by
the nurse V.P. had an evaluation.
During the exam they found that
V.P. had unusually high levels of
testosterone. "A random T level was
135 ng/dL (laboratory normal range
= 360 to 990 for adult male, 17 to
50 for adult female)"(Reiner par
11). After receiving treatments for
the high level of testosterone, the
levels barely changed. "Magnetic
resonance imaging of the brain
showed no abnormalities; computed
tomographic scan of the abdomen and
pelvis revealed no abnormalities
but a questionable small gonad...
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