The True Story of Joan/John

Decent Essays
There is a fine line between sex and gender. In fact, most probably do not even know that there is even difference between the two! People just assume a boy should act like a boy and a girl should act like a girl. Society forces us to think and behave that way. If you think about it when a baby girl is born everything is pink, but not all girls love the color pink. Society shapes the role of each child based on its biological sex. What happens if you do not behave like your sex is supposed to behave? In the article, “The True Story of Joan/John,” Joan does not act like the female that her surrounding pushed on her to be. This article tells the story of a man who goes through a long journey of finding himself. John was born male, and…show more content…
Social constructionism is pushing John to behave differently than how he wants to behave. In a way society was disturbing his normal growth as a child by changing who he thought he was, his gender identity. In the end, he knew he was a male, which relates back to gender essentialism.
Dr. Money definitely took advantage of John’s parents by giving them false knowledge. John’s parents were so uninformed about everything that was going on with John’s situation. Dr. Money was a very strict social constructionist that believed if he told John he was a female then he would be a female. How could Dr. Money, a doctor, think that telling a child that it is a specific sex and that it would grow up believing and acting like that sex? Things just don’t work like that. I think genes and your sex have a big part in identifying your gender. Each situation for each child is so incredibly different I find it too extraordinary that society and environment could change the identity of a person. I do not think that gender essentialism or social constructionism is the way, but a balance in between the two.
Gender essentialism and social constructionism challenge each other. The two are the extremes of reality. A balance between the two is how people live each and every day. In the situation of John, his life shows a journey through all three ways, gender essentialism, social constructionism and reality. Dr. Money believed in social constructionism, but while John was told he was
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