Gender identity

Personal sense of one's own gender / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender.[1] Gender identity can correlate with a person's assigned sex or can differ from it. In most individuals, the various biological determinants of sex are congruent, and consistent with the individual's gender identity.[2] Gender expression typically reflects a person's gender identity, but this is not always the case.[3][4] While a person may express behaviors, attitudes, and appearances consistent with a particular gender role, such expression may not necessarily reflect their gender identity. The term gender identity was coined by psychiatry professor Robert J. Stoller in 1964 and popularized by the controversial psychologist John Money.[5][6][7]

In most societies, there is a basic division between gender attributes associated with males and females,[8] a gender binary to which most people adhere and which includes expectations of masculinity and femininity in all aspects of sex and gender: biological sex, gender identity, gender expression,[9][10] and sexual orientation. Some people do not identify with some, or all, of the aspects of gender associated with their biological sex;[11] some of those people are transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer. Some societies have third gender categories.

The 2012 book Introduction to Behavioral Science in Medicine says that with exceptions, "Gender identity develops surprisingly rapidly in the early childhood years, and in the majority of instances appears to become at least partially irreversible by the age of 3 or 4".[12][13] The Endocrine Society has stated "Considerable scientific evidence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity. Individuals may make choices due to other factors in their lives, but there do not seem to be external forces that genuinely cause individuals to change gender identity."[14]

Essentialists argue that gender identity is determined at birth by biological and genetic factors, while social constructivists argue that gender identity and the way it is expressed are socially constructed, instead determined by cultural and social influences.[15]

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