What Is Gender Identity?

1894 Words Dec 18th, 2014 8 Pages
What is gender identity? Unlike the sex of a person, gender cannot be easily defined or located on the body nor does another person designate it. People can be classified by sex because a physician easily identifies it when they are born. You are either male or female or, on rare occasions, there are anomalies where both sex organs are present; but in most cases you are either male or female. Life gets more complicated than that, however, when a person begins to develop a gender identity which is defined as “a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman, or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth” (www.hrc.org 2014). So, as opposed to a person’s sex, when it comes to gender, every person has to come to their own conclusion as to who they are. It is not automatic that a male will identify as male or that a female will identify as female; gender identification falls on the individual. Each individual defines gender identity, but how does an individual define his or her gender? Hausman (2000) writes, “While many scholars might think of gender as a social construction, many of those still adhere to a belief in gender as an ontology, a mode of being that is itself not questioned” (117). Among scholars, there is a divide between what gender actually is. Is it simply a construction of society, or does it originate inside an individual? A person will identify as a certain gender based on their inner…
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