Gender And Gender Identity In The United States
While my identification with the male gender has persisted throughout my life, it has not come easy. Being of the male sex, I have come to accept that there are natural features that distinguish me from being female. Apart from having male genitalia, developing attributes stereotypical of human males, such as body hair during puberty or baldness later in life, have reinforced that I am male. However, lacking any fondness for the culturally assigned behaviors for most males, it was difficult to feel fully male in American society.
Being born into a military family, I was separated from the family structure commonly found to reinforce gender roles. Similar a rhesus macaques in the study by Harry and Margaret Harlow, I did not have constant male figure present in my life to teach me how a male should behave in our society (Zuk, 2013, p. 9). While the monkeys in the Harlows’ study were deprived a real mother to teach them how a female should behave, the repeated and sustained absence of my father due to his profession, along with the routine relocation that is common for military families, left me with few regular male …show more content…
While I have never fully understood the mind of the typical male in American society, I have always identified as male. While my behavior and attributes may not have been stereotypical for a boy growing up in the United States, I would learn later in life that I wasn’t alone. Not all boys grow up thinking they have to be the toughest or strongest. Not all boys grow up to think that women are not their equal or as capable as a male. While my gender identity as male was not met without challenges, finding other males who shared similar traits validated that not fitting into a stereotype was perfectly normal and completely acceptable. Even if it means I cannot talk sports with “the