Psychology Essay

1895 Words8 Pages
This essay briefly discusses the psychological consequences to individuals who, through differential gender development, do not fit the usual male - female model of gender identity. Several possible theories for the early onset and persistent nature of the disorder are also discussed. Gender may well be the most basic thing in the elements that make up human personality. In fact, gender is so basic to our identity, most people mistakenly assume our sense of being male or female is defined with absolute certainty by our anatomical sex. Contrary to popular belief, one's sense of gender and one's anatomical sex are two distinct elements: each developing at different times in different parts of the body. John Money has coined a useful term to describe this phenomenon. The term is Gendermaps. Money defines a gendermap as the entity, template, or schema within the mind and brain that codes masculinity and femininity and androgyny. This map or coding imprint is established very early in life through an interaction of nature and nurture. Because gendermap development is highly influenced by hormones emanating from the developing fetus, sex and gender identification are generally closely matched. But like most aspects of being human, there are no guarantees. As a result an individual may, as early as the age of four, find themselves aware of being caught between having the anatomy of one sex but being equipped with a gendermap much more typical of an individual of the opposite sex. It is also apparently possible for an individual to have no clear sense of gender whatsoever. Although there has been a recent increase in the mentioning of cross-gender behavior issues in the popular media, Gender Identity Disorder, as it is referred to in the American Psychological Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, is not a new thing. Indeed, it may be as old as humankind
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