Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Essay

3306 WordsAug 10, 201214 Pages
* Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders * Gender * Classifying a person as male or female is not a simple either/or proposition. * Being male or female is partly a matter of biology and partly psychological. * The term sex refers to whether you are biologically female or male. * Gender refers to all the psychological and social traits associated with being male or female * After we establish that you are male or female, gender tells us if you are masculine or feminine. * Sex * Males and females differ in primary and secondary sex characteristics * Primary sexual characteristics are the sexual and reproductive organs: vagina, ovaries, uterus, penis, tests and scrotum * Secondary sexual characteristics are more superficial physical features that appear at puberty (e.g. breasts, hips, facial hair, deepening of voice) * Sex Hormones * In general, sexual characteristics are related to the effects of sex hormones. * The gonads (sex glands) affect sexual development and behavior by secreting estrogens (female hormones) and androgens (male hormones). * Everyone normally produces both estrogens and androgens. Sex differences are related to the proportion of these hormones found in the body. * Prenatal development of male or female anatomy is largely due to the presence or absence of testosterone. * Dimensions of Sex * Classifying a person as female or male must take into account the following: * Genetic sex (XX or XY chromosomes) * Gonadal sex (ovaries or testes) * Hormonal sex (predominance of androgens or estrogen) * Genital sex (clitoris and vagina in females, and penis scrotum in males) * Gender identity (one’s subjective sense of being male or female) * Sexual Issues * When our fantasies or desires begin to affect us or others in unwanted

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