Skip to main content

what happens if we remove obstacles?

How sex and gender identity overlap is not completely understood.

What we do know is that individuals are affected by both the chromosomes and hormones of their natal sex and that these components do to some degree contribute towards establishing gender behavior. For example if you give testosterone to female mice, scientists have found that this increased their levels of aggression which is more associated with male behavior.

To say that gender identity is entirely a social construct would be a false statement as much as saying that it’s entirely determined by biology would also be.

In the 1960’s, John Money theorized that gender identity was not just about natal sex and could be heavily impacted by social conditioning. As witnessed by the case of David Reimer, who completely rejected his rearing as a girl upon being gender reassigned on Money’s recommendation, it is clearly about both.

Money defined the notion of gender role thusly:

"all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman, respectively. It includes, but is not restricted to sexuality in the sense of eroticism. Gender role is appraised in relation to the following: general mannerisms, deportment and demeanor; play preferences and recreational interests; spontaneous topics of talk in unprompted conversation and casual comment; content of dreams, daydreams and fantasies; replies to oblique inquiries and projective tests; evidence of erotic practices, and, finally, the person's own replies to direct inquiry."

That recent Israeli study I referenced was not conclusive but if anything it might have helped reinforce the idea that disembodied brains are not easily gendered. However this does not mean that there aren’t portions of the brain or elements at the level of DNA that help determine intrinsic gender traits.

It’s probably most realistic to think of gender identity as being influenced by both biological predisposition and social factors such as parenting style as well as sibling and peer interaction. Why some people have a propensity to reject their natal sex is a question we cannot answer. Just as we also cannot determine how much that rejection is tied to biological versus other factors.

One thing we might want to agree on is that expectation of gender behavior need not be coupled to natal sex which can go a long way towards alleviating the anxiety of gender non-conforming children. By removing objection to their behaviour early might we also be averting an eventual transition down the road or does that even matter?


John Money

Comments

  1. I loved this post Joanna! I wish I had known about Mr. Money many years ago.

    Emma

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

my last post

This will be my last blog post.

When I wrote recently that this blog had another seven years of life in it I was trying to convince myself that it was true. It was in fact a little bit of self delusion.

With almost 3,000 posts to date I have accomplished what I set out to do which was to heal myself and in the process share some of the struggle I had been through with others on the chance they might find some value in my words. After seven years of writing, my life still isn't perfect; no one's is. But I have discovered a path forward completely free of the trappings which society would have had me adopt so I could fit in.

Over the last 25 years of my life I have turned over every stone I could find while exploring this topic and in the process realized that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this deeply complex subject. What I have ultimately learned is that my instincts have more value than what someone who isn't gender dysphoric writes about me. We are …

epilogue

While this blog is most definitely over, I wanted to explain that part of the reason is that it was getting in the way of writing my next book called "Notes, Essays and Short Stories from the North" which will combine philosophy, trans issues, my observations on life, some short fiction and things that have happened to me over my life and continue to (both trans related and not).

When it is complete I will post the news here and will be happy to send you a free copy upon request in either PDF or eBook format. All I ask is that you provide me with some feedback once you're done reading it.

I'm only in the early stages so it will be a while.

Be well all of you....

sample pages...
















love of self

If you feel you are doing something wrong it shows. Your demeanor, body language and facial expression all conspire to betray you.

You are a clandestine "man in a dress"; you know it and everyone else can too. Your cover has been blown. I've been there and it's frustrating. The source goes back to your self image and the notion that you are somehow a freak of nature; and perhaps you are but what of it? the only way out is to embrace yourself fully and unconditionally. I don't mean to suggest that you are perfect but just that you were created this way and you need not seek forgiveness for it. You are a creation of God.

Misinterpreted religion is a big culprit in all this. These negative images of yourself came from reinforcement of stereotypes by ignorant people interpreting what is right and moral by their own barometer. You simply ingested the message and bought it as the gospel truth. Self confidence and critical thinking is the way out of your dilemma. It can…