Gender Identity and Social Construction

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Gender Identity and Social Construction Gender identity is a highly controversial subject. The notion that one's gender is a significant determination of personality traits, behavioral characteristics, social tendencies, romantic engagements and self-perception is a critical one. However, it is also subject to debate because of the imperatives created by the social construct of gender. This often clashes with what are, in reality, more nuanced and individualized connections to gender. This is particularly highlighted by the interview which has informed the research here. Specifically, the interview subject is a male of the homosexual orientation who would endure difficulty as a child fully understanding the meaning of his gender identity. As the discussion shows here, this is a common emotional disorder for individuals contending with some sexual confusion but should also not be conflated with homosexuality itself. According to Pheil & Pheil (2005), gender identity disorders are those which stem not from the sociological pressures of conforming to certain gender traits but, instead from an internal sense or incorrect gender assignment. As Pheil & Pheil indicate, "this cross-gender identification must not merely be a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex. There must also be evidence of persistent discomfort about one's assigned sex or a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex" (Pheil & Pheil. 1) Our interview subject would
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