Gender Identity

Gender Identity
Lisa Hayes
Carol Watson

Gender Identity
    When I hear the word Gender I automatically think about the physical characteristics of being male or female. After reading in this chapter I discovered that gender is the psychological state of being female or being male that is influenced by cultural concepts of gender appropriate behavior (Rathus et al., 2005, p. 171).
    There has been much speculation over the years as to what determines the sexual identity of a human being. Aristotle thought that the temperature of semen determined the anatomical difference between male and female. Hot semen created males, and cold semen created females. It is actually a little more complicated than that. Chromosomes from both the male and female parent combine. These chromosomes form the genetics of this new human being. The female ovum carries an X chromosome, but the sperm cell can carry either an X or a Y chromosome. If the sperm cell carries an X, it will most likely be female. If the sperm cell carries a Y, it will most likely be male. That is a major difference from the theory of heat, and also the theory of left and right where it is believe that depending on what testicle the semen is from then that will determine the sex of the child.
    As you can see the sex of a child consist of the physical side of things, but the gender identity is more of the psychological aspect. Even though gender identity is almost always lined up with the chromosomal sex, it does not certify that it is biologically determined. We are mostly categorized as male and female by our physical appearances. So it has to be sorted out whether gender identity is nature or nurture. It has been concluded that gender identity is influenced by complex interactions of biological and psychological factors (Rathus et al., 2005, p. 177). Scientist studied the cases of intersexualism and hermaphrodites. Even though these disorders caused the individual to...