Gender Identity - Gender Identity—below The Surface

Gender Identity—below The Surface

Many people consider themselves to be cisgender, that is, belonging to either the man or woman gender corresponding to their assigned sex of male or female. Before the 20th century a person's sex would be determined entirely by the appearance of the genitalia, but as chromosomes and genes came to be understood, these were then used to help determine sex. Those defined as women, by sex, have genitalia that is considered female as well as two X chromosomes; those viewed as men, by sex, are seen as having male genitalia, one X and one Y chromosome. However, some individuals have a combination of these chromosomes, hormones, and genitalia that do not follow the traditional definitions of "men" and "women". In addition, genitalia vary greatly or individuals may have more than one type of genitalia. Also, other bodily attributes related to a person's sex (body shape, facial hair, high or deep voice, etc.) may or may not coincide with the social category, as woman or man. For example, a person with female genitalia as well as a deep voice and facial hair may have difficulty determining which gender they identify with. A survey of the research literature from 1955–2000 suggests that as many as one in every hundred individuals may have some intersex characteristic. Intersex phenomena are not unique to humans. In a number of species, even more striking examples exist, for instance the bilateral gynandromorphic zebra finch (half-male, half-female body along its symmetry plane).

Read more about this topic:  Gender Identity

Famous quotes containing the words gender and/or surface:

    But there, where I have garnered up my heart,
    Where either I must live or bear no life;
    The fountain from the which my current runs
    Or else dries up: to be discarded thence,
    Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
    To knot and gender in!
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity!
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)