By definition, gender identity refers to the extent of classifying an individual with a particular gender. Moreover, gender identity implies subjective experiences, which identifies an individual as either a man, women, or another gender. In most cases, nature and nurture significantly contributes to gender development especially at early stages of human life. Nurture that is, sexual orientation puts individuals in a custody of heterosexuality. Conversely, nature attaches biological identities on children before their birth. In other words, gender identity originates from the combination of both nature and nurture conforming people to certain temperate and experiences of gender.
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From the episode 106 that I have listened to and personal experiences, sexual orientation revolves around several factors as explained below. According to Crawford (34), nurture through societal pressure influences gender identity and so, making people grow as heterosexual. Subsequently, children from such background tend to live in custody of heterosexual. For illustration, my experiences conformed me into gender binary that ultimately affected my perception on gender and sex.
What is more, at the age of six years, my father taught me specific characteristics attached to different gender; for example, girls were treated as strangers and relationship agents as opposed to their counterparts. This made me to develop an interest of playing football and performing other risky related tasks because males were regarded as aggressive and powerful. Therefore, societal pressure has the effect of shaping individual’s perception on gender identity through daily experiences at both childhood and adulthood.
To another end, interest, behaviors, preferences, and self-concept from parents influences the understanding of children on sexual stereotypes (Sweetman 20). Early teachings on feminine and masculine features make learners internalize such teachings that eventually define their gender orientation. Likewise, world globalization in effect has increased competition for lucrative economic and social positions therefore; inducing children to associate themselves with gender that stratifies more privileges and economic power in the society. For example, the notion that boys are innately better at science subjects shaped my interest in mathematics at the same time disclaiming interest in other subjects because they were perceived as feminine by nature.
Taken together, families, social media, authority persons convey societal information that possibly influences the gender type of an individual and so, children tend to copy and imitate their parents and their likes. As Benería (46) posits, children develop and identify themselves with gender binary by either adopting or copying the behavior and actions of others around them. Based on personal experiences, women played a secondary role to men as directed by home orientations. As Sahaya, Kaistha, and Patel (78) allude, noncompliance to certain myths could expose children to susceptible treatment as illustrated; I was rewarded by my father for having imitated his love for golf sport but punished when I attended football tournament with my elder sister who is a fan of football.
Secondly, as Puckett, Wittmer, and Petersen (112) denote, nature remains one of the most contributing factors that influences gender identity under sexual orientation. In black and white perspective, biological and physiological factors induce perceptions on gender identity. For instance, factors such as pre-natal hormone levels and other genetical makeups significantly affect the gender type of an individual (Blakemore, Berenbaum, and Liben 144).
For clarity, biological factors cause changes in sexual identity and so, causing sexual attraction to opposite sex. For example, I developed gender identity and sexual attraction for heterosexual gender at the age of ten years because of hormonal maturity. In summary, both nature and nurture combines both inborn temperate and experiences in conforming gender behaviors among people. Biological factors offer generic understanding of gender identity while nurture significantly influences conception of gender identity and roles.
Benería, Lourdes. Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as If All People Mattered. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Blakemore, Judith, Sheri Berenbaum, and Lynn Liben. Gender Development. New York: Psychology Press, 2009. Print.
Crawford, Mary. Transformations: Women, Gender & Psychology. New York: McGraw- Hill, 2012. Print.
Puckett, Margaret Donna, Wittmer, and Sandra Petersen. The Young Child: Development from Prebirth Through Age Eight. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2012. Print.
Sahaya, Amita, Sunita Kaistha, and Vibhuti Patel. Gender & Development. New Delhi: Women Press in association with Women Work & Health Initiative, 2011. Print.
Sweetman, Caroline. Gender, Development and Money. Oxford: Oxfam, 2001. Print.