Reflection Paper : Gender Identity Development

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Reflection Paper # 2: Gender Identity Development
“They really buy into a culture that doesn’t value what we have feminized. If we are in a culture that does not value caring, doesn’t value relationships, doesn’t value empathy, you are going to have boys and girls, men and woman, go crazy” (The Mask You Live In trailer, 2015). Dr. Niobe Way, a psychologist and educator, said this in the trailer of the powerful documentary The Mask You Live In. She was referring to how young boys avoid the crucial human emotions that we as a society have feminized. The trailer also gave the shocking statistic how every day 3 or more boys commit suicide in the U.S (The Mask You Live In trailer, 2015). I was surprised and saddened when seeing this. I understood for the first time that the way we view and teach masculinity does not allow for young boys to effectively deal and cope with the powerful emotions that arise in their life. This opened my eyes to the many negative and strong messages we send to young boys. It also raised questions of my own upbringing and the messages I received as a young boy. I for the first time begin to wonder how I developed my own gender identity and where I learned the idea of masculinity. Reflecting on this topic will help to gain a better understanding of what influenced my gender development and why I think and believe the way I do when it comes to the topic of gender identity.
The development of my gender identity starts before I was born. My…

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