Factors That Influence Gender Identity Essay

Factors That Influence Gender Identity Essay

Length: 767 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Identity is most simply defined as a person's own sense of self; their personal sense of who they are. Identity development is intrinsically linked with adolescence because, according to Santrock citing Marcia & Carpendale, "...for the first time, physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development advance to the point at which the individual can sort through and synthesize childhood identities and identifications to construct a viable path toward adult maturity". We often see the results of this sorting process in behaviors of adolescents such as adopting and shedding different personas including speech patterns, clothing styles and peer groups. Although these transitions often seem drastic and swift, adolescents are utilizing their newly honed abilities efficiently to assess, decipher and ultimately construct their own unique identity. Just as any structure is built with individual building blocks, forged together to create a whole, so is the identity.
The most fundamental building block of identity is temperament. Temperament, defined by Santrock, is an individual's behavioral style and characteristic way of responding. Because temperament is so basic, it is present and quantifiable in early infancy, long before other more complex aspects of identity. As a result, Santrock cites Galambos & Costigan's finding that, much of the research done on temperament is done on infants and children. Just as identity development and adolescence are inherently linked, so are the concepts of personality and temperament. Personality is most basically defined as the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. In considering this relationship, first conceive of personality in the five factor struct...


... middle of paper ...


...ors like gender shape a adolescent's sense of who they are. From the moment we are born we are bombarded with messages about what it means, in our society, to be the sex we are assigned at birth. These are messages about gender. As soon as a child attains gender constancy they are very interested in participating in activities that are aligned with their respective gender. Step into any preschool or daycare environment and you will be confronted with girls in pink and frills playing with baby-dolls and boys playing with trucks and balls all the while clad in clothes with the same articles portrayed upon them. These children have received loudly and clearly gendered messages about who they are based on their sex. They have never considered whether they want to be feminine or masculine or even what those words mean to them they simply adopt and imitate.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Understanding Gender Identity and Sexuality Essay

- While the terms “gender” and “sex” are often used interchangeably, the two words have significantly different definitions. One could argue that sex refers to biological essentialism and the idea that we are who we are because of our genetic material. On the other hand, gender is associated with the social constructionist theory, which argues that the way we are is dependent on our race, class, and sexuality. Because each person is different in their race, class, and sexuality, their gender becomes socially constructed....   [tags: Race, Class, Gender]

Better Essays
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Childhood Development Is Gender Identity Essay

- As a child grows and conforms to the world around them they go through various stages, one of the most important and detrimental stages in childhood development is gender identity. The development of the meaning of a child’s sex and gender can form the whole future of that child’s identity as a person. This decision whether accidental or genetic can effect that child’s life style views and social interactions for the rest of their lives. Ranging from making friends in school all the way to intimate relationships later on in life, gender identity can become an important aspect to ones future endeavors....   [tags: Gender, Gender identity, Transgender, Gender role]

Better Essays
1898 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Gender Differences Between Masculinity And Femininity

- What is gender. Gender is referred to as the personal sexual identity of an individual regardless of the person’s biological and outward sex. To define the difference between masculinity and femininity can be based on the individuals background and surrounding culture. People use it in societies as a way to separate male and female gender roles. Gender binary is classification of sex and gender such as masculine and feminine. It can also represent some prejudice which stigmatize intersex and transgender people....   [tags: Gender, Transgender, Gender role, Gender identity]

Better Essays
807 words (2.3 pages)

Influence Of Sports Activities On Boys ' Identity And Socialization Experience

- The influence of sports activities on boys’ identity and socialization experience remains a major interest in gender studies today. Michael A. Messner wrote an article called Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities. The article examines the way sports focus and define what it is to be a masculine, studies variation in sports’ influences across social classes, and depicts lessons sports participation impacts for relationships beyond sports. Each area Michael A. Messner examined directly relates to three key concepts of psychology theories....   [tags: Sociology, Gender, Gender identity, Masculinity]

Better Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

The Importance of Biological Factors in the Development of Gender Identity

- The Importance of Biological Factors in the Development of Gender Identity The biosocial theory suggests that gender identity develops as a result of the obvious biological differences between boys and girls and the hormonal differences between the sexes which can be observed in the foetus from about six weeks (Durkin, 1995). Supporting evidence has been found through animal studies, such as that by Young, Goy and Phoenix (1964) who gave testosterone to pregnant monkeys and found that any female offspring were prone to be unusually aggressive....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Gender Identity Disorder Essay

- Living a life feeling out of place, with the wrong feelings, and in the wrong body, for a person with Gender Identity Disorder, this is how they feel day to day. According to the DSM-IV-TR, Gender Identity Disorder is characterized by a strong, persistent cross-gender identification, persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in their gender role of that sex. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), children, adolescents and adults who exhibit a preoccupation with getting rid of or losing their primary and secondary sex characteristics, associated with different mannerisms and actions of the opposite sex; while holding a belief that he or she was...   [tags: Gender Studies]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Gender And Gender Roles Within Society

- Language is a key component of the expression and construction of both group and individual identity. Differences in gender identity has resulted in the parallel development of genderlects and gender roles within society. Gender stereotypes and societal pressures of conformity heavily influences linguistic behaviour of different genders; leading to the generalisation where ‘women like silent men. They think they’re listening’ (Michael Achard). The further division between language choices between genders is stylised by the variation in their perceived functions for language....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, Transgender]

Better Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)

Gender Identity Essay

- The development of gender awareness is fundamental for our sense of self and is also predominant in any assessment made of another person as from birth on people respond differently to males and females. Gender identity can be seen as one of the earliest social categories that children learn to apply to both themselves and other people. This is suggested in Schaffer’s (1996) definition where gender identity is the correct labelling of self and others as male or female. There are three main theories that have been explored which all suggest multiple ways in which gender awareness is developed: Bandura, Kohlburg and the Gender Scheme Theory....   [tags: Sociology, Gender Scheme Theory]

Better Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Gender Identity : Identity Is A Universal Characteristic Of Which One Can Be Recognized

- Gender Stereotype Identity What is meant by Identity. Identity is a universal characteristic of which one can be recognized. One can be recognized by their race, gender, sexuality, family or social class. Identities shape a person that help them get through the journey to their dream and life. Factors like gender and family play a vital role in shaping a person’s individual identity. Gender identity is one’s perception of the activities that is “masculine” and “feminine.” Family identity can be seen in one’s family values and culture....   [tags: Gender, Woman, Female, Gender role]

Better Essays
1652 words (4.7 pages)

Gender Identity and Social Structures Essay

- Gender Identity and Social Structures What is meant by identity. Firstly this essay is going to explore what is meant by identity. Identity is made up of individual characteristics by which a person is known. Internal factors such as physical appearance, personality, mental ability and sex would have an effect on a person’s identity. Then there are the external factors such as family, class, religion, culture, occupation and nationality which would influence one’s identity. Then, even beyond all these personal and social structures, societal opinions about gender, race, culture, ethnicity and nationality must have an impact on identity....   [tags: Gender Socialization Sociology Essays]

Better Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)