Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Mirror , Mirror on the WallWhen you wake up from a night’s sleep first thing most people do is go to the bathroom. A lot of people miss a key an element in that process which is looking in the mirror. Some people look in the mirror before they do anything else. But what do you really see when you look in the mirror? Some see the makeup they didn’t wash off from the night before. Others see acne that they struggle with daily. And it’s a group of people that see a stranger in the reflection of the mirror.
That stranger is the body that is reflecting but the true person is in the inside that they hold true to their hearts. Gender identity is something that has been a difficult journey for at least 1 million people in the United States according to the CDC ( https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/index.html) . It must be a struggle to feel like you are going against everything that you were taught, and every society has deemed correct. But for some people in this country that’s how they live their life every day.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Essay Example
I would like to highlight what science deems as true, what society compounds and call true with science backing them up, and shine the light on a special case that contradicts the former.”Gender identity is a person’s concept of him or herself whether male or female, this can be either the same as their biological gender or it could be different (Schwartz, 2008)”. Most of the people out there are satisfied at being the gender they were born, though some may feel that they should be the opposite sex. This a simple explanation of what the Nature influence comes from. What you are born with and as should be who you are. And in most cases that is true. Someone’s gender as opposed to their sex is mainly a social construction and their own thoughts and feelings about their gender have a great impact on the development of their own identity.
We as women biologically give birth to children and society gives us the fitting title of mother. This title has an influence on how women are defined in society, including their role in as well (Ohle, 2006). This thought creates the link between the belief that sex is associated with biology and a man or women’s gender identity in any society is determined socially and psychologically which includes historically and culturally (Ohle, 2006). In the determination of gender identity, social and cultural perceptions of what is considered masculine and feminine traits along with roles are major players in determining what is right.With that being said, its believed that gender isn’t a nature thing it is a nurture thing. Something that is learned from the environment and culture that you are exposed to (Ohle,2006). After the baby is born and doctors say whether it’s a girl or a boy, parents begin to raise the baby as such based on the gender or sex of the child.
Which is also known as core gender identity (Dreger, 2009). Research has been collected and its been found that core gender identity takes place by age two or three, in some cases the child may be as old as five before the core gender identity is complete. But it is also believed that the parents have the power over this the gender role decision. A parents influence make up the largest contributing factor in determining environmental influences (Dreger, 2009). The same research has proven that behavioral changes happen when parents of either sex interact with different genders (Dreger, 2009). Some examples of this are that girls are cuddled more often, and boys are encouraged to play more assertively. Sooner or later the concept of his or her gender develops (Ghosh, 2009).
Parents can often become overly worried about certain behaviors, but this tends to only confuse the child even more. Which is quite common and sad because the societal push of what a girl or boy should do or how they should act is not always the right example. Its ok for boys to cry and its ok for girls to play football if that is what they want to do and its not impeding on their development as a person.Now let’s get back to the science aspect and start from the beginning. Every fetus begins life as a female because of the X chromosome coming from the mother; this is the only chromosome active for the first few weeks of gestation. At the eighth week the fetus takes a chromosome from the father who can be either an X or a Y (Wickens, 2005). If the fetus takes an X chromosome it will stay a female, but if it takes a Y chromosome it begins making testosterone and other male hormones and will begin to develop as a male.
These different hormones work in the brain to create the male sex organs and genitalia (Wickens, 2005). What I just described is something we learn a little about in high school biology and in more depth in an embryology or other higher-level college course. It sounds cut and dry so why can’t it be just that simple. This is how the saying, ” Men determine what the child’s sex will be” got established. Because of the second chromosome coming from them. But there are some situations during gestation a fetus’s brain produces male hormones but the fetus still becomes a female. Other times the fetus does not produce enough testosterone for the fetus to become completely male.
This is known as hermaphroditism (Ghosh, 2009). Society today calls this intersex. And these cases are few and far in between now but because it has happened and still can happen some parents now are going towards not labeling their child until they reach puberty and then allows them to determine who they want to be regardless of how they were born according to science.The special case I was referring to in the beginning is one about a lady that grew up in the deep south in the late 60’s early 70’s. She was born and raised up to be a healthy young woman. Everything that society said she should have to be the regular little girl was given. Baby dolls, dresses, lace socks (very southern tradition), and tea parties.
Around 10 years old she felt like something wasn’t right. She understood that she was a girl, but she didn’t think it matched with her spirit. After a while she didn’t act the rest of the girls including her sisters which became a problem in some cases. She wanted to hang with the boys more and venture off in what they were interested in. Her family around her just labeled it as her being a tomboy but she knew it was much more.She never had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested in one. And once she got in high school her mother had to basically threaten her to put on anything feminine.
By the time she reached her senior year she finally accepted the fact that not only was she attracted to females but that she didn’t identify with females. She truly felt like she was a man trapped in a woman’s body. She was afraid to tell her family because of what the backlash could be and didn’t want to risk the aftermath. So, after she graduated she left home for a summer trip and never came back. Through out her life she has evolved into the person she is today and from choice in clothes to a voluntary hysterectomy which is an extreme step she does it try to find piece in herself. The person I speak of is my mother. She has always maintained that the only reason that I am on this earth is because she was raped, and no one believed she was pregnant because of the fact everyone knowing that she didn’t like guys in that way.
So once everyone found out the truth of her pregnancy it was to late for her to have an abortion. At that time, she was very sad and mad because she didn’t want any kids which is why I’m the only child. But nonetheless she cherishes me like I’m not human.As I listened to her story when I got older and was able to comprehend it was to clear to me that the sex you are at birth can possibly be different than your gender. Even though society has combined to two there is evidence that can very well contradict the status quo. Gender identity shouldn’t have to be synonymous to the sex you’re born with. And that doesn’t make either wrong or less than the other.
Once you’re born it takes both nature and nurture to mold you into who end up being. So, if when you look in the mirror and see something different than what science says is ok nothing is wrong with that. And a perfect example of that is the younger children in my family who has only seen my mother as a male call her Uncle Jack instead of Auntie Jackie and she answers like its second nature. The mirror on the wall can be tricky but it will tell you what you see and what other people see. Sometimes it may be the same answer and other times it may be different.ReferencesSelf & Identity, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p34-53, 20p, 1 Chart; DOI: 10.
1080/15298860600980185 Dreger, A. (2009).Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood: Inconclusive Advice to Parents. The Hastings Center Report, 39(1). 26-9. From: ProQuest database. Ghosh, S.
MD (2009).Sexuality, Gender Identity. From: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/917990-overview Ohle, A. (2006).The Effects of Culture on Gender Identity.
From: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edufinal.paper.pub/_pwfsfp/000000a8.htm Schwartz, N.
(2008)Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation. Functional Neurology, 24(1), 17-28. From: ProQuest database. Wickens, A. P. (2005).Jackqueline Epps’s recalls her childhood and early adulthood with a short account of present day- 1969-1990, 2001- present