Gender Identity

Essay by Stefanie261University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Gender Identity is a learned quality. It does not have anything to do with nature (genetics) as much as nurturing. Males and females are separated by gender at birth. A person's sex determines how their gender will develop. Some circumstances may cause gender identity disorder .

What makes a woman a woman and a man a man? Is it nature? A persons genetics, or is it nurture? The way a person is raised. The way a female and a male are raised from birth decides what gender the person will become. Gender identity is a learned behavior, which is reinforced through out one's entire lifetime. Gender identity is the sense of knowing which sex one belongs. That is the sense of one's masculinity or femininity.

Aside from sex differences, other biological contrasts between males and females are already evident in childhood. Girls mature faster than boys, are physically healthier, and are more advanced in developing oral, written, and language skills (Townshed 2000).

Boys are generally more advanced at envisioning and manipulating objects in space. They are more aggressive and more physically active, preferring noisy, rough forms of play that require larger groups and more space than the play of girls the same age (Townshed 2000). In spite of conscious attempts to reduce sex role stereotyping in recent decades, boys and girls are still treated differently by adults from the time they are born. The way adults play with infants has been found to differ based on gender: girls are treated more gently and approached more verbally than boys (Taylor, Lillis & Lemone 1997). As children grow older, many parents, teachers, and other authority figures still tend to encourage independence, competition, and exploration more in boys and expressiveness, nurturing, and obedience in girls.

A major step in the formation of gender...