The Paradigm Changes in Gender Identity

How has the concept of gender identity evolved over time, and what role does society play in shaping our understanding of gender? Explore the origins of gender identity, its connection to social learning theory, and the changing perceptions of gender roles and norms. How has society's acceptance of nonconventional gender classifications impacted the LGBTQ community and the broader understanding of gender?
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Gender identity is an individual's experience of gender, intrinsically and extrinsically. The experience could be about possessing the sense of being a man, a woman, neither of the two, or anything in between man and woman. Individuals carry a gender identity that replicates their assigned sex at birth or a different one. Someone who was born male may identify as a woman, and one born female may identify as a man. Gender identity majorly infers a social construct, and not a biological or anatomical configuration. In recent times, the LGBTQ community has been very vocal about the rights of their members. As much as the community is based on sexual alignment issues, it is also more of a gender one. The minority, who do not identify along the social constructs ensuing from sex assigned at birth, have their rights protected under this community. Over the years, the issue of gender identity has significantly evolved. Gender today is not what it was a half a century ago, and the work continues to evolve significantly.
The concept is not very old in the social system circles. It was popularized in the 1960s by John Money, who first expressed it as gender roles before expanding it to gender identity. The continued acceptance of the nonconventional gender classifications has gone a long way in building up the concept of gender identity. Coining of the phrase gender identity was done by another scholar, Robert J. Stoller, in 1964. Ever since, it is a mainstay in the social strata of people across the world. Over the years, gender differences have been a point of discussion in the balancing of equality for the majority and minority, and also among men and women.
Gender identity can also be viewed from bandura's social learning theory. The theory posits that children develop their gender identity through observing and imitating the gender-linked behaviors of others. In that regard, the gender that one develops into is not necessarily aligned to the sex they were assigned when they were born. Instead, it is based on the behaviors and norms they learn from those they observe on a daily basis. When society defines the gender of an individual, those factors of their behavior and approach to life will play a part in the classification.
Traditionally, it was known that two genders of man and woman exist. Whoever was identified as male at birth would grow into a woman, and whoever was born female would develop into a woman. However, there have been significant changes in the gender spectrum. Society today recognizes others like transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, and third gender, among others. Being a social construct, it is built on how people behave and what they do. The society has defined how a man or a woman should behave and what distinguishes them from each other. Therefore, as much as gender interacts with the concept of biological sex, they are different.
The roles, behaviors, and norms associated with every gender vary from one society to the next. The society has been indoctrinated with the norm that men are brave and strong, and they are the leading figures in society. Through this socially-constructed belief and norm, women have suffered mistreatment for ages. They have been discriminated against, and continue facing bigger risks in society than men. In this regard, it summarizes the concept that gender is not a biological sex issue; rather, it is a social issue.
In the past, before the gender identity concept was fully elucidated, a man dressing like a woman would be frowned upon. They would be seen to have crossed the gender lines and behaving inappropriately. It is no longer the case today as cross-dressers have significantly increased, and people who do not identify with conventional social conformities are in their numbers. These changes have been occasioned by a more accommodating world in the recent past.
In this thought-provoking response, the author's perspective is skillfully backed by an extensive body of comprehensive research and readily available information, offering a well-informed and compelling exploration of the subject matter.

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August 08, 2023

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