Choose Your Own Gender?

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I identify myself as a female, because, according to my body parts, that's what I am. However, I ask guys out on dates, I cannot cook to save my life, I clean only when its absolutely necessary, I don't love shopping, and I like scotch. According to stereotypical society these behaviors do not fulfill my gender role as a female- or the behaviors that tend to be associated with being female.

Even though I identify myself as a female, I didn't need to "un-gender" myself in order to break some female stereotypes.

Our textbook suggests that knowing about gender concepts- like gender identity and role- is very important for understanding how and where we fit in socially (391). Is "know about gender concepts" the same as "knowing our gender identity?"

Earlier this year, a family in Toronto decided to keep their baby's- named "Storm"- gender a secret. In an article/segment from the Today Show in May, the parents decided to keep the baby's gender a secret because they want to allow their child to pick their own sex when "it" is older. However, is choosing your own gender identity possible? According to the book, differences in gender appear even before social influences (like parenting) have a chance to work on an individual, giving evidence that gender identity is inherently biological (392). In addition, according an interview with a developmental psychiatrist on the segment, babies are not born as a "blank slate" - or born without predisposed male or female tendencies- because, as the psychiatrist says, male and females have different brains. Therefore, "Storm's" parents arent really giving him/her more freedom by letting him/her choose his/her own gender, because he/she was already born a certain way.

In addition, in the article and segment, it says that the parents have encouraged their other children to "be creative with gender" instead of completely disclosing their sex to them. This is perhaps a better way to encourage their children to break gender stereotypes (or choose the ones they want to conform to!) instead of robbing them of a gender identity in the first place.

Today Show Segment

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Video on Common Male and Female gender stereotypes

Lilienfeld, Scott O. Psychology: from Inquiry to Understanding. Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon, 2009. 9-10. Print.

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This page contains a single entry by glaes034 published on November 6, 2011 8:55 AM.

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