Running head: GENDER IDENTITY
Psychology of Human Sexuality
According to our textbook, Human Sexuality In a World of Diversity, gender identity can be defined as the psychological awareness or sense in women and men of being male or female. Gender Identity is considered the most important part of each individual’s self-concept and is also the most obvious. More often than not, an individual’s gender identity will match the actual sex of the human being; however, there are special cases where the anatomic sex and gender identity are not the same.
Sex assignment, which can also be referred to as gender assignment is an individual’s anatomic sex at birth. The majority of children develop their awareness of their gender by the age of 18 months. (p.175)
What determines gender identity?
As mentioned above, gender identity typically matches the gender of an individual but not always. Complex interactions between biological and psychosocial factors are what scientists conclude as what determines gender identity. (p.177)
Let’s take a step back though and look at the definition of gender. Gender is the psychological sense of being female or being male and the roles society ascribes to gender. Our anatomy is what determines our anatomic sex but gender is a concept based on anatomy, psychology, and culture and tradition. (p.170) Sexual differentiation is the process by which males and females develop distinct reproductive anatomy. This is determined by the sperm that fertilizes an egg and a male or female is created based on the chromosomes that combine together. (p.171)
Genes play a huge role in gender identity. A sex determining gene, called the “transformer”, is a gene that develops within female fruit flies. Chromosomal female fruit flies with the “transformer” gene inactive attempt to mate with other female fruit flies but are still appealing to male fruit flies because of the...