Is one's gender identity determined at birth (yes) or by personal and social judgement (no)?

Asked by: Sam-v
  • I will take the side that people hate because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Quite ironic for me to say that you will see.

    Gender is fixed. A penis means you are a male and a vagina means you are a female. There is no way of disputing that. Now there has been at test to show that there is a relation to genetics for gays that they are born such due to genes. However it only shows that these genes are as influential of that of a alcoholic parent's gene. Meaning to say while these genes do affect, they do not determine and finalise the outcome.

    So it means that they can be changed not genetically but by enforcing. Similar to kicking a bad habit, repeated enforcement would help to quit drinking/smoking. Similarly if a gender identity is about the action one can do or not, primarily been homosexual activities. Linking it to be the equivalent of drinking/smoking.

    Then yes, it can be stopped. It's a treatable or fixable issue. So that begets the question should it be fixed? I say yes. Why? Simple the world isn't prepared for it yet. Perhaps in the far future a man with a vagina is still a man if he wants to be or any other combination. As gender no longer is of importance. However in the society we live now. The status quo is against them. Hence you can either fight the system or just go about being happy and just you know.

    It's illegal to do lots of things because the majority of society don't like it. However such laws often not pursued strictly and diligently and as long those breaking that law do not create and upheaval, they are left alone.

    So it comes to a matter of crowd control really. It's easier for rulers to null a few individuals over the majority. Again until humans evolve beyond gender and the physical self. All these would be a problem. Hence to maintain and keep society from crumbling because a bunch of people wanted their way.

    It's always a few who will suffer. It sucks to spell this out but that's how reality is. Wanted to weird stuff that mainstream society hates? Join an exclusive club filled with people like yourself. Lots of social ideas grow from such small groups. It's very slow progress but it is more efficient than the streets.

    It's similar to setting a trend in school, one kid does another follows and so on till everyone is in to it. Takes time till then, till society changes. Those who are mentally of different gender, too bad really. Find people of kind and be satisfied. It's easier.

  • It Has To Be One Of The Two

    Either one's gender identity is determined by birth, or by other factors--I see no other real possibility. If it is determined at birth, it can still settle later, and even if it is due to biological factors, those can still be influenced by society.

    Note that I do believe that gender identity is decided by biological factors (though I have little doubt that at least some degree of social forces influence gender identity and expression, at least on the conscious level). I simply can't resist a mathematician's answer.

  • Sex is genitals, gender is all in the head

    Sex would influence all the biological things. Like boobs, dicks, ect. Gender is what the individual feels most comfortable identifying with. FYI there are so many genders out there, demi, agender, ect. And they identify as that because they believe thye feel most comfortable with that label. Who are you to tell someone what's going on in there head???

  • It is mostly determined by biology, but can be influenced by social factors

    I think transsexual individuals shine a great light on this debate, because transsexual people are those who are born into one gender, conditioned as one gender but come to discover that they are the opposite gender despite social expectations, pressures, and conditioning. This indicates that gender identity is very strongly biologically determined. Why biologically determined? Because even examining the brains of transmen and women you see that their brains are more like the opposite sex, i.e. a transwoman's brain is more like a cisgender woman's brain than it is to cisgender men. This is likely because of the fact that sex hormones (which influence behavior) affect different parts of the body at different times. So, in rare cases, the body will be affected differently by sex hormones than the brain, causing a biological descrepancy (physically male, psychologically female).

    So, given all of this, I think it is reasonable to conclude that your gender identity is something you are born with.

  • Factors at birth may be influential but do not account for the whole of causality; Chances are good gender identity is multicausal

    Even so one study showed that their brains were still more like the sex they were born as than the one they wanted to transition to at least for some certain features. Cismen and ciswomen were on the ends of the spectrum and transpeople were in the middle but transmen were closer to ciswomen (transmen being born women but decides to transition to live as men) and transwomen were closer to cismen.

    So this suggests biology has something to do with it but is not the whole story, and then it would be incorrect to say it is determined at birth. There may be factors present that change the odds of being transgender or cisgender but do not 100% determine it.

    However this whole question is a false dichotomy. What if it is entirely biological but depends on a mixture of factors including factors that occur after birth such as nutrition? It's worth noting the brain changes throughout life and changes the fastest in early childhood. Hormones also are influenced by more than just genetics. In the biological realm certain nutrients will effect hormone levels. In the environmental realm activities a person engages in and even the outcomes of activities (such as winning a competition raising testosterone) can influence hormone levels. And then biology may change the way the environment works, maybe someone has a gene that amplifies the effects of winning a competition on hormone levels, maybe someone else has a gene that causes winning a competition to produce estrogen instead of testosterone, and still maybe someone else doesn't produce much of anything at all when they win a competition.

    Another point, I knew a cisgender, heterosexual guy who said he had a condition that involved elevated estrogen levels (which caused gynecomastia), so neither gender identity nor sexual orientation could have to do exclusively with hormones.

    Chances are there are many factors including biological factors present at or before birth, biological factors that happen after birth, and social and environmental factors.

  • A man can become a woman and should be respected as such. YES = at birth NO = personal and social judgement

    An example I refer to is: I was once in Thailand and I met a ladyboy. She was obviously a ladyboy and my friends, who were girls with me, knew as well. Behind her back, they would not refer to her as a woman or ladyboy; instead they would refer to her as a man as she was born and use the masculine pronouns. I personally cannot stand this and I think it is a gross disrespect and is insulting. If a person identifies themselves as a different gender then they should be treated as such. In hindsight, I think my friends just felt threatened because there are lots of ladyboys in Thailand who are much more beautiful and sexier than a lot of other women :P .

    So I am arguing that:
    1. Gender identity is not given at birth i.e. you’re social identity is not male because you have penis or female because you have a vagina.
    2. Gender identity is developed through personal and social life. People grow up attracted to some things and repulsed by others. What these things are and how they are placed in society determines their gender identity – such as dolls being given to girls and trucks to boys.
    3. Gender identity in medical contexts obviously is more complicated than how people are perceived and how one was born must be taken into account.

    What do you think?

  • Sex is genitals, gender is all in the head

    Sex would influence all the biological things. Like boobs, dicks, ect. Gender is what the individual feels most comfortable identifying with. FYI there are so many genders out there, demi, agender, ect. And they identify as that because they believe thye feel most comfortable with that label. Who are you to tell someone what's going on in there head???

  • Gender identity should be about what makes you most comfortable.

    It's true that biology determines our physical gender. How we appear, the sexual organs we are born with are determined by our genes and the chromosomes we inherit from our parents. However, there is also the critical issue of comfort when it comes to gender identity and this is just as important.

    I personally know men that are most comfortable being women, that find it difficult filling the mold of what our society considers a "man". I myself question the some of the stereotypes used to describe how a man should be - for example, the whole firm handshake thing seems silly to me and certainly doesn't communicate how capable a man is at anything, I also don't agree with the expectation that men should be aggressive in everything they do and should have to compete with their peers in everything to attain prestige, status, and power. Sometimes the best, most invaluable men are those that go out of their way to promote peace, stability, improvement, and compassion - all things our country badly needs right now.

    Some men are comfortable being women and I think it would be wrong of me to tell them they should live as stereotypes demand. The best thing I can do for these men ( and women ) is to encourage them to live in a way that makes them comfortable yet allows them to be accountable, productive citizens of our country.

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