Understanding Gender Identity: There’s More to it Than Just HormonesBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
The sex designation of your body is more than just the division between male and female, as what scientists have believed it to be. Gender may, in fact, fall on a grey area. Scientists continue to understand gender identity, because there can be other factors that could influence the gender of a person, and it goes beyond the sex chromosomes.
Gender identity is a complicated concept. It goes beyond how a person perceives himself as male or female. It is not just a simple division of sex assignment between individuals. An example is the condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome where girls are born looking like the other girls but things begin to change during puberty. This is because they actually have the male chromosomes and have testosterone, or the male hormones.
To understand the influence of hormones in a person's gender identity, a prominent psychologist in the 1960's John Money conducted a study on a one year old who was castrated and given a vagina. He was given a female treatment but still reverted back to being a boy. On a second case, his experiment succeeded and the "boy" grew up as a "girl".
These results may not be very reliable as evidence but this only goes to show how the exposure of the brain to testosterone influences a person's sexuality. The brain in the early years of a person absorbs a lot of external events, so it means that both testosterone and the parental behavior can be contributing factors to gender identity.
The most significant point here is that gender identity is not only "biological" but "social". Society has a lot to do with how men and women see themselves. Ultimately, regardless of gender differences, they should all be accepted and should be given the same and equal opportunities.