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Gender Identity Conflict

In the story “X: A Fabulous Childs 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 solation. 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 nd 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 ifferent 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 ertains 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. ad 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 ut a questionable small gonad at the left Internal inguinal ring”(Reiner par 12).

After surgical exploration, a testis was found. V. P. hen 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 Xs gender, gender wont 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 matters.

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 todays American society it is impossible to raise a child without an assigned gender.

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