Essay on Development of Gender Identity
In this paper, the idea and development of gender identity will be explored. Some people believe that a person's gender is defined by their genitalia, but many people are now learning that this is often not the case. Gender identity is the way someone feels, if they feel more masculine or feminine, and is how they refer to themselves. In many cases, gender identity and gender expression are the same, but not always. Some choose to identify as male and still paint their nails, wear makeup, and dress in a more feminine way, but that does not mean that they are not a man.
Gender identity is also seen in other forms, like in social interactions, and relationships with other people. In addition, there are differences in the ways people view gender, some view it as black and white, male, and female, while others tend to view it as a spectrum. There are multiple chromosomal pairs that are sex determining.
Gender development begins around 18 months, with children typically being able to identify their gender at age three. At this point, the child will normally identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
In later years, typically around the beginning of puberty, the child might start questioning gender, and how they feel in their assigned gender, and they may start experimenting with their identity by dressing more masculine or feminine. Many children never second guess, or even think about their gender, but others do question it.
In today's world there are many ways to express one's gender, it could be how they dress, wear their hair, their makeup, or tattoos. The process of understanding one’s gender can take years, from first feeling uncomfortable in their assigned gender, to even coming out as transgender and transitioning into their preferred gender.
Gender and sex are two different things now. Gender is the way someone feels and how they express themselves, and sex is determined by biology, what chromosomes you have and what genitals you were born with.
Gender expression in children is shown in different ways, such as a child wanting long hair, or liking it shorter, a nickname they could choose for themselves, even in imitating those around them, they may imitate men or women more often.
The various factors in developing gender identity are not well known, but many believe that both biological and environmental elements play a role.
That's not to say that a boy who has many female influences in his childhood will grow up and transition into a woman. There are biological and mental factors that affect our gender identity development.
For many years, people have had to deny the way they wanted to present themselves, luckily now society is much more accepting of those who choose to identify in a non-traditional way.
We really do not know why some people feel wrong in the gender they were assigned at birth, and we don’t know much about the development of gender identity, but this was a very interesting topic to explore and learn more about.