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Chapter 5

HUMANSEX Chapter 5.doc

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McMaster University
Tulsie Raghubir

Chapter 5 - GENDER IDENTITY AND GENDER ROLES • Gender – Psyhological state of being female or male – Influenced by culture • Gender typing – Process where children acquire behaviour that is deemed appropriate to their sex PRENATAL SEXUAL DIFFERENTIATION • Please read pp.132-134 Sex Chromosomal Abnormalities • Klinefelter Syndrome – A sex chromosomal disorder caused by an extra x sex chromosome (XXY) – Fail to develop appropriate secondary sex characteristics (enlarged breasts, poor muscular development, fail to produce sperm -> infertile -> TESE • Turner Syndrome – A sex chromosomal disorder caused by loss of some X chromosome material (found in women) – Develop typical external genitals, but ovaries do not develop or function normally GENDER IDENTITY • Def’n: – Psychological awareness of being male or female • Sex/Gender assignment – Labelling of a newborn as male or female Nature and Nurture in Gender Identity • Intersexual – Possess gonads of one gender but external genitalia that are ambiguous or typical of the other gender (pseudohermaphrodite) – Testes OR ovaries, NOT BOTH – 1 in 1000 • Hermaphrodites – Possess BOTH ovarian and testicular tissue – Extremely rare! Intersexuals • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (XX) (Approx 1 in 20 thousand) – Genetic female with internal female structures but masculinized external genitals • Cortisone • Salt Wasting • Androgen-insensitivity syndrome (XY) (Approx 1 in 20 thousand) – Genetic male that is prenatally insensitive to androgens – Genitals do not become normally masculinized – Mullerian Inhibiting Hormone and testosterone -> fail to respond so Wolfian structures are absent • Dominican Republic syndrome (XY) – Genetic enzyme disorder prevents testosterone from masculinizing the external genitals rd • India -> Hijra (3 sex) • Aboriginal -> Berdache TRANSSEXUALISM/TRANSGENDERISM • Intersexuality – Preferred term to encompass “syndromes characterized by some abnormality or anomaly in physical sex differentiation” • Transsexuals – Strongly desire to be and live as a person of the other gender – Feel trapped in the body of the wrong gender; experience GID – Transgenderism • Synonym for transsexualism • Activist movement seeking rights/pride for various transgendered individuals (transsexuals, intersexuals, transvestites, drag kings/queens, etc.) • Anyone who considers themselves non-conventionally gendered • Gender dysphoria (GD) – Incongruity between one’s anatomy and gender identity • According to DSM-IV … Gender Identity Disorder Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Alternate view) • Men who seek to become women fall into 2 categories: • Homosexual transsexuals – Extremely feminine gay males who seek sex reassignment • Autogynephilic – Sexually stimulated by fantasies that their own bodies are female Gender Identity Disorder • A strong and persistent cross-gender identification DS
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