What Color Do I Paint The Nursery? Essay

848 Words Oct 16th, 2015 4 Pages
When a baby is born, its body determines its gender. Doctors assign each infant to a category based on genitalia, and when a child does not cleanly fit into one of two boxes—male or female—confusion ensues. What color do I paint the nursery? Should I buy my child trucks or dolls? These questions may be the silly ones, but until quite recently, gender and sex have been nearly inseparable in the minds of the majority. Theories about specific “markers” in the physical attributes of a certain gender are an essential part of why this belief has been so strongly championed. Rebecca Jordan-Young’s excerpt titled “Sexual Brains and Body Politics,” as well as Joan W. Scott’s essay Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis, argue that though anatomy and biology are factors that can be related to gender identity, the use of physical attributes to assign gender is an arbitrary process that excludes the experiences and identities of many people.
“The idea that men and women ‘naturally’ think and act differently because they have specifically male or female brains is not new,” Jordan-Young begins her argument (7). According to her, the prevailing concept in science is that the sex hormones that a child is exposed to at a young age cause physical changes in its brain (5). The hormones restructure the brain, causing changes that are directly linked to the child’s sex. From infant to adolescent to octogenarian, this theory posits that men and women have tangibly different brains, and…

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