Gender Identity Essay

871 Words Jul 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
Gender Identity
Kaylene Merchant
July 27, 2014
Doris Tolan

Gender Identity
Gender identity is not a concept that everyone actually gives consideration. For most people, they fall into the role that is recognized by those around them. This role, however, is not always compatible with who they really are. For some, there is confusion about who they are and who they would like to be. To better understand gender identity and the traits of masculinity and femininity, one must first fully understand the factors of each concept, and how they apply to an individual.
According to Rathus, Nevid, and Fichner-Rathus (2011), gender identity is the personal awareness or sense of self that either reflects as male or female. Gender
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Gender identity can also be decided by an individual in opposition of the role that they were raised to live. In the case of transsexuals or transgenders, an individual can have a strong desire to be the opposite sex and to live as the opposite sex (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2011). In such cases, it is not uncommon for them to have gender reassignment surgery, also known as a sex change. However, this surgery cannot change the internal reproductive organs, and is more of a change to the external genitalia in attempt to create the appearance of the opposite sex, rather than an actual “sex change” (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2011).
“Masculine” and “feminine” are terms that we hear every single day. Masculine traits are typically similar to strength or aggressiveness, with feminine labels similar to emotional or empathetic. While masculinity and femininity are on opposite ends of a scale, most people find themselves somewhere in the middle depending on certain traits that are attributed to either males or females. This is the masculinity-femininity continuum. Personality characteristics are not the only traits to determine placing on the continuum. Physical traits also help to determine gender role, with traits like a hairy chest or muscular body for masculinity and a high voice or large breasts for femininity.
I cannot say that I ever made a conscious choice for my gender identity. There was no point where I

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