Gender Identity Theory Essay

1387 Words6 Pages
In this paper I will examine different psychological theories on binary gender identity and diverse gender identity. My intention is not to argue which set of theories is more accurate but more to provide information and let the reader decide for themselves in the light of their own experiences what theory makes the most sense to them. The psychologically charged debate over gender identity and its presence in society has taken the form of intuitions because of social necessity. On one side, diverse gender identity argues that traditional binary gender norms are no longer relevant nor an accurate reflection of the society that we live in today. The other side argues the more traditional concrete male/female gender identifications are paramount…show more content…
“Gender schema theory proposes that children develop a gender schema as a means of organizing their perceptions of the world. Once children acquire a gender schema, they begin to judge themselves according to traits considered appropriate to their sex.” (Rathus, Jeffrey, & Fichner-Rathus, 2014) The children who are successful in developing self-concepts that in line with the assigned gender will generally have higher self-esteem and are happier and healthier, mentally and emotionally speaking, when they are living in accordance with their assigned gender norms. Reversely, when children are raised in households that do not recognize gender norms, then children are at a deficit for learning how to be masculine men and feminine women and are at great risk of being mentally and emotionally unhappy and…show more content…
Proponents for a diverse gender identity argue that a society which operates using gender binary norms puts unwarranted hatred and stress onto individuals who do not fall neatly into the binary of man and woman, by being “challenged, chastised, or cajoled toward normativity” (Ehrensaft, 2015). In Ehrensaft 's article “Boys Will Be Girls, Girls Will Be Boys” she proposes there are at least nine gender identities. Those being; “transgender, gender fluid, gender priuses, gender tauruses, proto gay, proto transgender, gender queer, gender smoothies, and gender oreos.” Ehrensaft indicates that, while this list may seem large, it is still likely missing a lot. As a psychiatrist, she has worked with many families that are working to come to grips with a child who is non-gender conforming. In many cases these children have attempted suicide due to feelings of alienation and hatred from the outside
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