Essay on Gender Identity Disorder

Essay on Gender Identity Disorder

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Gender, Sex, & Sexuality: Separate and NOT equal.


First and foremost, a few key terms to keep in mind while reading this paper.

"Sex”: refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.[1]

“Gender”: refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.[2]

“Gender identity“: an individual's self-conception as being male or female, as distinguished from actual biological sex.[3]

With so many different terms, it is hard to keep up with the language and understanding of the complex idea of Gender Identity Disorder. If “sex” is a biological term, and “gender” is a sociological term, and “gender identity” is an individual’s self-conception whether or not one's gender matches up with one’s biological sex, where do we draw the line? How can we determine whether or not a person’s gender identity matches their sex? The answer is not an easy one. Gender identity is personal; it is not something that anyone else can determine for you. Therefore it is not up to science or other to say whether or not an individual's gender identity equals their chromosomes and genitalia.

In the case of Daphne Scholinski, we are given insight into her incredibly abusive past as well as her journey through psychiatric facilities due to her diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder through her memoir The Last Time I Wore a Dress. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)[4] outlines the following criteria for a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood:

In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following:

1. repeatedly stated desire to be, or insistence that he or she is, the other sex...


... middle of paper ...


...ical factors, and Daphne’s defiance towards her stereotypical gender role as a girl. Yes, her parents did cause her serious harm, physical and emotional abuse, but they did not make her want to be a boy.

Biology and chromosomes determined her sex, society determined her gender based upon her biological sex, but Daphne has sole determination over her gender identity and sexuality. While these concepts are all linked, they are all separate in their own right and by no means do they equal each other.


Works Cited

http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/228219/gender-identity

http://iiiprxy.library.miami.edu:4374/content.aspx?aID=10357&searchStr=gender+identity+disorder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_role

Hyde, Janet Shibley. Understanding Human Sexuality. Boston: Mcgraw-Hill College, 2006.

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