It is hard for some people to imagine changing their sexual identity. They feel that they were born the right sex and have been identified as the right sex. But there are many people who do not feel this way. They grow up feeling as if something were not right, something not in sync.
It is though they are one step outside of what everyone else is feeling. Gender identity has come to the media in recent years with the advent of corrective surgery and psychology designed to help people correct these feelings of inadequacy in their sexual identification.
It is not an easy road for those with gender identity issues. They must face not only their family and friends but the public as well. It can have lasting repercussions on their psychological well-being.
But there is help. With corrective surgery, hormonal replacement or therapy these people can live happy lives that are fulfilling and everything they wish them to be. In this article we will cover the basics of gender identity, what it is and how it corresponds to our sexuality.
How is gender identity used to determine someone's sex?
Gender identity is used to determine one's sex by their genitalia and how they act. Having the "right" equipment does not guarantee that a person will identify with certain traits that are earmarked for that gender. Many people automatically identify pink with being a girl's color.
They feel that dresses and dolls make up the gender identity of characteristics that are typically female. The same thing applies to boys, the color blue and playing with action figures versus Barbie dolls. We have a tendency to assume that certain characteristics are belonging to a certain sex.
How is the term gender identity used in determining sexual proclivity?
Sexual proclivity is the process that causes us to decide what gender to pursue. Gender identity often makes this process complicated. The person affected by gender identity disorders feels that they should be the opposite sex and prefers others based on that feeling. It is more than a woman deciding to be a lesbian and searching for same sex relationships.
It is more than a man deciding to be homosexual and searching for another man. In many people's eyes a person of one gender should only have relationships with people of the opposite gender. This can cause great confusion for those with gender identity problems.
What do hormones have to do with gender identity?
Gender identity was once based on the appearance of male or female genitalia but since then more has come to light as we are able to examine people on a genetic level. Females traditionally have higher amounts of estrogen and are have two X genes. Males, on the other hand, traditionally have higher amounts of testosterone and are XY on the genetic level.
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for breasts and ovulation whereas testosterone is responsible for more muscle mass, more hair and the development of sperm. Both can be found in either sex but one is in the lesser amount depending on the chromosome pair.
If a person truly believed they were meant to be the opposite sex, how do they correct this problem?
The first step in correcting a problem with gender identity is to identify if the person truly wants to become the opposite sex. It may be a case where the individual is happy just "dressing" the part and have no wish to undergo the intensive treatment program needed for sexual reassignment surgery and hormonal replacement. The treatment program also requires intensive psychoanalysis and therapy in order to help the person learn to adjust as the opposite sex.