Gender Identity Is The Assumption Of There Being Binary Categories

3311 WordsNov 17, 201414 Pages
Binary Logic: Another issue with research pertaining to sexual identity is the assumption of there being binary categories, such as gay/straight, male/female, etc. Research in this area is generally dichotomized (e.g. male/female, gay/straight), which can foster rigid identity assumptions, foster homogeneous understanding of research particiapnts and results, foster a divide between ‘normal’ and ‘deviant’ behavior, as well as mask inherent variation in different groups and populations (Johnson & Repta, 2012). Bringing greater awareness to the complexity of sexual and gender identity could have transformative effects on how research is conducted. Some scholars in the social work field have begun to acknowledge and recognize the increasing evidence that sexual and gender identity are not binary categories, as well that categories might not even be an accurate way of understanding these phenomena (Burdge, 2007; Roche & Gringeri, 2010). While an understanding that the binary model is flawed has gained some traction in social work research, the majority of researchers continue to ignore and disregard this possibility, consequently reinforcing this erroneous dichotomous paradigm (Rassi, 2011). It has also been noted that critiques from postmodern, poststructural, and queer theory perspectives, as well as from individuals or groups (e.g. transgender, bisexual, intersex) who do not “fit neatly” into binary categories continue to remain essentially absent within social work

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