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    Gender Identity Conflict Essay (716 words)

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    In the story “X: A Fabulous Child’s Story,” a child is raised as an X.

    An X is a child who is assigned a neutral gender by its parents and scientists. The parents of X raise the child to both girl and boy standards. However, this is just a story. Raising a child with an assigned gender is impossible.

    Many factors contribute to the development of gender and gender identity. Theorists state that the issue of gender identity is based on the society in which the child grows up. 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 society because they do not fit the social norms of the society. First, we have to define gender identity. Richard Ashmore defines gender identity as the structured set of gendered personal identities that result 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). Lawrence 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 people’s 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, they imitate a model of the same gender to get a grasp of the attributions of stereotypes to male and female figures, to measure 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 are 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 may not fit the stereotypes of male/female genders, a side will eventually be favored.

    Case studies have been done 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 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.

    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 at the left internal inguinal ring” (Reiner par. 12). After surgical exploration, a testis was found. V.P. then had constructive surgery and went on drug therapy.

    After psychosexual counseling, V.P. was a normal male teen (Reiner par. 5-17). This is just one example of when someone was raised as one gender for 8 years and the body rejected the assigned gender and turned to its true gender. In the story, the author Lois Gould states that by the time they find out X’s gender, gender won’t make a difference (118). However, this case study shows that the gender will show before gender does not matter. At the age of 8, V.P. started to change their gender, and at the age of 8, gender still matters. Although X was raised with an assigned gender, in the real world, raising a child with an assigned gender is impossible.

    One day, the body communicates with the mind and decides to follow its natural course, and that is why someone can never assign you a gender. Also, some biological aspects that make females and males different in more than just body type affect how the child chooses their gender identity. With all these things in today’s American society, it is impossible.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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