This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 26 Gender education of children 2018. For identities defined by to whom one is romantically or sexually attracted, see Sexual identity and Sexual orientation. Gender identity is one’s personal experience of one’s own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth, or can differ from it.
Core gender identity is usually formed by age three. There are several theories about how and when gender identity forms, and studying the subject is difficult because children’s lack of language requires researchers to make assumptions from indirect evidence. According to UN agencies, discussions relating to comprehensive sexuality education raise awareness of topics, such as gender and gender identity. Although the formation of gender identity is not completely understood, many factors have been suggested as influencing its development. Both factors are thought to play a role.
Biological factors that influence gender identity include pre- and post-natal hormone levels. Social factors which may influence gender identity include ideas regarding gender roles conveyed by family, authority figures, mass media, and other influential people in a child’s life. When children are raised by individuals who adhere to stringent gender roles, they are more likely to behave in the same way, matching their gender identity with the corresponding stereotypical gender patterns. As a baby, Reimer went through a faulty circumcision, losing his male genitalia. Psychologist John Money convinced Reimer’s parents to raise him as a girl. Reimer grew up as a girl, dressing in girl clothes and surrounded by girl toys, but did not feel like a girl. Several prenatal, biological factors, including genes and hormones, may affect gender identity.
The biochemical theory of gender identity suggests that people acquire gender identities through such factors rather than socialization. 2000 suggests that more than one in every hundred individuals may have some intersex characteristic. A 2012 clinical review paper found that between 8. Some studies have investigated whether or not there is a link between biological variables and transgender or transsexual identity. Research suggests that the same hormones that promote differentiation of sex organs in utero also elicit puberty and influence the development of gender identity.
Different amounts of these male or female sex hormones within a person can result in behavior and external genitalia that do not match up with the norm of their sex assigned at birth, and in a person acting and looking like their identified gender. This section needs additional citations for verification. In 1955, John Money proposed that gender identity was malleable and determined by whether a child was raised as male or female in early childhood. It has been suggested that the attitudes of the child’s parents may affect the child’s gender identity, although evidence is minimal. Parents who do not support gender nonconformity are more likely to have children with firmer and stricter views on gender identity and gender roles. Many parents form gendered expectations for their child before it is even born, after determining the child’s sex through technology such as ultrasound. The child thus arrives to a gender-specific name, games, and even ambitions.