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Essay/Term paper: Gender identity conflict

Essay, term paper, research paper:  High School Essays

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In the story "X: A Fabulous Child"s

Story," a child is raised as an X.

An X is a child who is assigned to

a neutral gender by its parents and

scientists. The parents of X raise

the child to both girl and boy

standards. This, however, is just a

story. Raising a child with an

assigned gender is impossible. Many

factors go into the development of

gender and gender identity.

Theorists state that the issue of

gender identity is based on the

society where the child grows.

Others believe that gender identity

is based on the physical traits of

the individual. Another aspect of

attempting to raise a child without

a specific gender is the fact of

isolation. An individual would be

isolated by the society because

they do not fit the social norms in

the society.

First, we have to define gender

identity. "Richard Ashmore defines

gender identity as "the structured

set of gendered personal identities

that results when the individual

takes the social construction of

gender and the biological "facts"

of sex and incorporates them into

an overall self-concept"

(512)"(Frable par 7). Lawrenece

Kohlberg defines gender identity as

the "cognitive self-categorization

as "boy" or "girl""(Frable par 5).

This means that the individual will

form a gender from their

understanding of those ideas, sex

and social construction of gender.

A child will then form a gender

after recognizing other peoples

gender in their surroundings, and

gender continues over time and does

not change by wishes and is

permanent (Frable par 5). Once a

child chooses a gender then they

imitate a model of the same gender

to get a grasp of attributions of

stereotypes to male and female

figures, to measure of gender

schematic processing, attitudes

toward boys and girls, and gender

discrimination in reward allocation

(Frable par 6).

Researchers say that the gender

differences between males and

females is because of some physical

aspect. These aspects range from

different physical composition of

the brain, to different levels of

different hormones. For instance,

during maturation in the womb, the

male embryo is exposed to two

hormones critical to further male

differentiation (Reiner par 2).

These hormones also have "hormonal

effects [that] extend into other

organ systems as well, including

the central nervous system" (Reiner

para 2). The biological differences

in the individual would make a

significant impact on the gender

identity of the person. Even the

type of body influences the gender

of an individual. By the social

norms of body type the individual

obtains a grasp of which gender

pertains to them (McDermid et al.

Para 4). Even though the person my

not fit the stereotypes of

male/female genders, a side will

eventually be favored.

Case studies have been don on

individuals who have been assigned

one gender; then later in their

life their body rejects that

assigned gender and displays their

true gender. One example of an

assigned gender failing is in the

case study of V.P. There were no

problems in the pregnancy or

delivery. The baby was healthy, and

no questions were raised as to

gender or to phenotype, nor did the

parents ever have reason to

question the baby's health or

physical status (Reiner par 6).

However, at the age of 8 V.P.

discovered that she was not female.

By the age of 9 she was

discontinuing acting like a female.

In high school after a referral by

the nurse V.P. had an evaluation.

During the exam they found that

V.P. had unusually high levels of

testosterone. "A random T level was

135 ng/dL (laboratory normal range

= 360 to 990 for adult male, 17 to

50 for adult female)"(Reiner par

11). After receiving treatments for

the high level of testosterone, the

levels barely changed. "Magnetic

resonance imaging of the brain

showed no abnormalities; computed

tomographic scan of the abdomen and

pelvis revealed no abnormalities

but a questionable small gonad at

the left Internal inguinal

ring"(Reiner par 12). After

surgical exploration, a testis was

found. V.P. then had constructive

surgery and then went on drug

therapy. V.P. after psychosexual

counseling, was a normal male teen

(Reiner par 5-17). This is just one

example of when raised as one

gender for 8 years; the body

rejected the assigned gender and

turned to its true gender.

In the story, the author, Lois

Gould, states that by the time they

find out X"s gender, gender won"t

make a difference (118). However,

this case study shows that the

gender will show before gender does

not matter. At the age of 8, V.P.

started to change his gender, and

at the age of 8 gender still


Although X was raised with an

assigned gender, in the real world,

raising a child with an assigned

gender is impossible. One day, the

body communicates with the mind and

decides to follow its natural

course and that is why someone can

never assign you a gender. Also,

some biological aspects that make

females and males different in more

than just body type effect how the

child chooses their gender

identity. With all these things in

today"s American society it is

impossible to raise a child without

an assigned gender.  

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