Essay-on-the-Article-on-Gender-Identity

There are 2 articles that need to be read, and then you are to address the questions that pertain to each article. You will have an APA title page, and an APA reference page. Deductions will occur if they are not APA. After the title page, you will have a paper that is labeled as “Article I”, and you will finish the article 1 assignment. Once you have completed article 1, you will label a page as “Article” II, and you will address the article II assignment.

In chapter 12, we are introduced to the concept of “Gender” identity.

“Gender” includes the cognitive, emotional, and social schemes associated with being male or female.

“Gender Identity” refers to one’s sense of being male or female.

“Sex” either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.

Gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder) is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex that results in significant distress or impairment. People with gender dysphoria desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. This incongruence causes significant distress, and this distress is not limited to a desire to simply be of the other gender, but may include a desire to be of an alternative gender.

(https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/gender-dysphoria) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

As noted in our textbook, The American Psychological Association (2015) has recommended a move away from considering gender as binary, or consisting of just two entities. This means that psychologists understand that gender is a nonbinary construct that allows for a range of gender identities and that a person’s gender may not align with sex assigned at birth (pg. 387). The “sex” is typically determined by anatomical evidence.

I want you to think of the impactful words of “It’s a boy! It’s a girl!” These words are impactful because they influence a lifetime of parenting, and like it or not, there is a bit of stereotypical planning that accompanies those words. Pink rooms for girl’s and blue rooms for boy’s are two of the most basic examples that come to mind. Waiting rooms may be full of anticipatory friends and family, while a whole host of people are checking social media for updates and photos of the newly arrived baby.

This can be a joyous time, as well as a time of overwhelming pressure for parents, especially if the newborn does not present definably as either male or female.

As you read and complete Article’s I and II assignments, critically think about each topic you are required to address in each article. Make sure when addressing each topic, that your responses are clear and have depth. Do not skimp when addressing any portion of this assignment. Search yourself for depth, and impress me with your perspective!

Article I

BBC News Health: Male or female? Babies born on the sliding sex scale (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.tigerdevorephd.com/category/media/page/4/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • The following is reprinted from the BBC News:

A child that is born neither male or female is a rare occurrence but babies born with some form of Disorder of Sex Development (DSD) happens in one in every 1,500 births, according to the support group Accord Alliance. For some born with a DSD it can mean growing up in a world of shame and secrecy, but many people are working to foster openness about it.

After Janet was born, it was difficult to tell if she was a boy or a girl. “When my grandfather learned there was a question of my sex, it was suggested by him that they just let me die,” she says. Now in her 50s and a mother of two, she was born with a womb, ovaries and female genes but her genitals and hormones were partly masculine. She was diagnosed with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a DSD where her body makes too much testosterone.

Male and female genitals grow from the same tissue, but testosterone makes them look and develop differently. So an enlarged clitoris can be something between male and female.

Living with this condition, says Janet, left her a “psychological mess” for many years.

A wide range of factors determine a baby’s sex. Disruption in the development of any of these can cause a disorder of sex development. They can range from girls with more masculine characteristics and vice versa, to babies born with indeterminate sex, previously known as intersex.

Clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr Tiger Devore was born with indeterminate sex. He has severe hypospadias, an abnormality of the penis, which in its milder form can affect one in 250 men.

“(Intersex) people are usually raised with shame and secrecy,” he says.

“Those babies are hidden from general society – and that was my experience of growing up.”

“I always had to keep it a big secret. I could not tell anybody I was having surgery down there, which we’re not supposed to talk about.”

Aileen Schast, a clinical psychologist who counsels families at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says: “It can be very confusing and isolating for families and what worries me the most is an early feeling of shame starts to develop, as this has to do with genitalia, and we don’t talk about that.

“Everyone is dying to find out what the baby is and how do you say we don’t really know yet.

“I had one parent tell me she almost wished her child had cancer because at least people have heard of it, so when she needed support she could say this is what my child has and people would know what it meant.”

Choosing a sex:

Since Janet and Dr. Devore were born there is much more understanding about Disorders of Sex Development. Today the whole family of children born with a DSD are involved from the beginning, and urology, endocrinology, genetics, social work and psychology experts also work together. For a child born of indeterminate sex they will undergo number of tests including those involving chromosomes, hormones and internal organs. To further complicate things the test results are not just either male or female, they can be on a sliding scale between the two.

Ultimately the sex chosen for an intersex baby is the one doctors and their family believe they will grow up to identify with best.

Dr. Devore and Janet were both born at a time when parents went along with what the doctors said and surgery was seen as the first thing to do. They have both had multiple operations. Dr. Devore has had 20 surgeries, the first at three months old.

“In my view all the surgeries I suffered up to age 19 were unnecessary failures,” he says.

“I lost a tremendous amount of feeling tissue that I would like to have.”

Some people now believe that surgery should be left until the child can make the decision themselves.

“There are a lot of activists that describe infant surgery in one word – mutilation,” explains Dr. Devore.

“Unless there’s a medical necessity to change the appearance of those genitals I don’t think they should be cut on at all,” he asserts.

“It’s the kid’s genitals, not the parents or the doctors and when they’re young adults they are going to want them to work.”

But Tom Kolon, MD Urologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia points out there can be a problem with leaving it until the child has grown up.

“I think we would all want the child to be able to make the decisions themselves. The problem there is if you wait until they are old enough and mature enough to understand and say yes – have you hurt them by not doing the surgery or the medication earlier?”

Female outside, male inside:

Some DSDs are not obvious at birth because they affect the internal organs and can go undiagnosed for years.

Katie has androgen insensitivity syndrome, which was only discovered when she had a hernia operation when she was six.

“I look female on the outside, I have a normal female body but instead of having XX chromosomes like a typical female I have XY chromosomes like a typical male.”

During her hernia operation, surgeons were surprised to find a partially descended testicle. She also had no ovaries and no womb.

Her mother and father, who are both doctors, had been trained at medical school not to tell women if they had this condition “because it would be so devastating to them that they would commit suicide”.

But Katie’s parents broke the mold and did tell her some of the details of the condition to prepare her.

Katie was 18 when they told her the full details, which changed her world.

“I was really scared. I was not prepared to think about myself as totally and irreversibly different to every other woman. I wondered if I would ever be loved, if I was so different I couldn’t be loved,” she says.

Her testes were removed and she takes pills to give her more appropriate hormones.

Katie and her mother went on Oprah’s TV program to talk about her condition and the publicity has contributed to more openness about DSDs in the US than there is in the UK.

“I think we have very inadequate definitions of what sex is,” says Katie.

“But based on what we do have I can’t say that I’m either male or female in terms of my sex, although my gender identity is very female.”

Dr. Devore would also like to see the definitions of sex widened.

“The tyranny of being forced to circle M or F (male or female) on every form I fill out, I’d like to see that change, I’d like to have a lot more options.

“Typically what I do is I circle the whole thing so it is ‘MORF’, M or F – that is my favorite way of responding to that question.”

Katie Baratz ’07 discovered at age 17 that she has an “intersex” condition – a rare genetic disorder that caused her to be born without internal female sex organs.

https://www.haverford.edu/college-communications/news/growing-intersex-going-oprah (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Janet Green was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., a condition that is one of 36 disorders of sexual development, leaving her with ambiguous genitalia, or intersex.

During the earliest weeks of conception in her mother’s womb, Green was bathed in an overproduction of male hormones that caused a masculinization of her body and brain.

Girls with the condition can have clitorises as large as small penises or labia that look like a scrotum, but the internal sex organs are normal. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/intersex-experts-protect-pregnant-moms-off-label-drug/story?id=17052075 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Tiger Devore was born with severe hypospadias (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and has experienced over 20 surgeries and four full reconstructions. For more than 30 years Dr. Tiger Devore has been helping all kinds of people. He has counseled a broad spectrum of individuals and couples on relationship issues and all forms of sexual dysfunction. Dr. Devore has unparalleled niche expertise as a counselor and advocate for intersex people, as well as those considering sex reassignment or dealing with gender fluidity issues.

http://www.tigerdevorephd.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Article #1 Assignment

Critical Thinking: Gender Assignment

8.5 points

Patient advocates have criticized many follow-up studies of infant genitoplasty, pointing out that they focus excessively on genital appearance and gender identity factors that may seem central to parents and doctors, but do not address many of the concerns that adult patients raise.

Topic of Discussion – You are to use critical thinking as you address the following topics, and each must be addressed to ensure full credit.

Paragraph #1

  1. Is it ethically justifiable for parents and doctors to make the decision of genitoplasty on the child’s behalf, or would it be better to wait until children reach adulthood to determine gender and/or do surgery? (5 pts)

Explain why or why not. (1.5 pts)

Paragraph #II

  1. You are to address the following concerns: (0.5 pts each)

a). Gender identity should be addressed at birth… elaborate why or why not.

b). Gender role should be addressed at birth… elaborate why or why not.

c). Gender assignment is, or is not important… elaborate why or why not.

d). Address repercussions surrounding internal and external incongruence.

e). Is infant surgery mutilation?

f). Should surgery be addressed when the patient is older? Why or why not?

g). Name one thing that Janet said that stood out or impressed you the most and explain why.

h). Name one thing that Dr. Tiger Devore said that stood out or impressed you the most and explain why.

i). Name one thing that Katie said that stood out or impressed you the most and explain.

  • APA Format (You must have an APA title and reference page.)
  • At least 4 references cited within text AND on reference page.

You are to provide at the very least three additional references other than the class textbook to support your paper. (.25 x 4 = 1 point)

  • Paper must be at the very least 3 FULL pages or deductions will occur.
  • 1-point deduction for excluding APA Title page
  • 1-point deduction for excluding APA Reference page
  • What you quote in your paper must be identified in the paper with “quotation marks” at the beginning and end of each quote. You are to then place the authors name behind the quote.

When you place a quote in the paper you MUST also document the source of this information on the reference page.

  • .5 deductions for every 3 grammatical errors.

Contractions are grammatical errors. (ex: Incorrect: “don’t”, Correct: “do not”.

Always capitalize the letter “I” when you are referring to yourself and always begin a sentence with a capital letter.

Article II Assignment

Critical Thinking: “The tragic twin boy who was brought up as a girl after horrific hospital blunder”.

6.5 points

After reading the following true story, you are to address how the topics in “a-d” related to Bruce. You are to explain the significance of each, and how Bruce may have been adversely affected. Do not simply copy the textbook. If you quote, make sure you use quotation marks, followed by proper APA citation, then followed by your own reflection regarding the topic. Critical thinking is required.

This portion is included in the overall APA assignment and should be titled as : “Article II”

This section will consist of no less than 4 paragraphs (a-d).

a. Self concept (2.0 points)

b. Self-theory (2.0 points)

c. Self-esteem (2.0 points)

d. Your reaction (.5 point)

Born: Aug 22, 1965 · Winnipeg, Canada (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Died: May 04, 2004 · Winnipeg, Canada (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-11814300

“The tragic twin boy who was brought up as a girl

after horrific hospital blunder”

The boy who was raised a girl.

Biologically it is sex hormones, physical appearance and the sex chromosomes – XX for a woman, XY for a man – which dictate whether someone is male or female.

But what happens if you bring up someone who was a boy as a girl?

There was a case just like this in the 1960s, a case which ended in tragedy.

Twins Bruce and Brian Reimer were born in Canada as two perfectly normal boys. But after seven months, both were having difficulty urinating.

Acting on advice, the parents, Janet and Ron, took the boys to the hospital for a circumcision.

The next morning, they received a devastating phone call – Bruce had been involved in an accident.

Doctors had used a cauterizing needle instead of a blade, and the electrical equipment had malfunctioned and the surge in current had completely burned off Bruce’s penis.

“I could not comprehend what he was talking about,” Janet Reimer remembered.

“I thought they were going to use a knife. I didn’t know there was electricity involved.”

Brian’s operation was cancelled, and the Reimers took their twins home.

Months passed, and they had no idea what to do until one evening they met a man who would change their lives, and the lives of their twins, forever.

Dr. John Money was a psychologist specializing in sex changes.

He believed that it wasn’t so much biology that determines whether we are male or female, but how we are raised.

“We just happened to be watching TV,” remembers Mrs. Reimer.

“Dr. Money was on there and he was very charismatic, he seemed highly intelligent and very confident of what he was saying.”

Janet wrote to Dr. Money, and within a few weeks she’d taken Bruce to see him in Baltimore.

For Dr. Money the case provided the ideal experiment.

Here was a child he believed should be brought up as the opposite sex, who even brought his own control group with him – an identical twin.

If it worked this would provide irrefutable evidence that nurture could over-ride biology – and Dr. Money genuinely believed that Bruce had a better chance of living a happy life as a woman than as a man without a penis.

And so, when Bruce was 17 months old, he became Brenda. Four months later, on 3 July 1967, the first surgical step was taken – with castration.

  1. Money stressed that, if they wanted the sex change to work, the parents must never let Brenda or her twin brother know that she had been born a boy.

From now on they had a daughter, and every year they would go and visit Dr Money who was keeping track of the twins’ progress in what became known as the John/Joan case. Brenda’s identity was kept a secret.

“The mother stated her daughter was much neater than her brother and, in contrast with him, disliked to be dirty,” Dr. Money recorded at one of these yearly meetings.

Although, in contrast, he also noted: “The girl had many tomboy traits, such as abundant physical energy, a high level of activity, stubbornness, and being often the dominant one in a girl’s group.”

By 1975, the children were nine years old, and Dr. Money published a paper detailing his observations. The experiment, he said, had been a total success.

“No-one else knows that she is the child whose case they read of in the news media at the time of the accident.

“Her behavior is so normally that of an active little girl, and so clearly different by contrast from the boyish ways of her twin brother, that it offers nothing to stimulate one’s conjectures.”

Yet by the time Brenda reached puberty at 13, she was feeling suicidal.

“I could see that Brenda wasn’t happy as a girl,” Janet recalled.

“She was very rebellious. She was very masculine, and I could not persuade her to do anything feminine. Brenda had almost no friends growing up. Everybody ridiculed her, called her cavewoman.

“She was a very lonely, lonely girl.”

Faced with their daughter’s sadness, Brenda’s parents stopped taking her to see Dr. Money.

Soon after, they did the one thing Dr. Money had warned them against: they told her she had been born a boy.

Within weeks Brenda had chosen to become David.

He had re-constructive surgery and eventually he even married. He couldn’t have children himself, but he loved being a stepfather to his wife’s three children.

Yet what David did not know was that he had still been immortalized as ‘John/Jane’ in medical and academic papers about gender reassignment, and that the “success” of Dr. Money’s theory was affecting other patients with similar gender issues.

“He had no way of knowing that his case had found its way into a wide array of medical and psychological textbooks that were now establishing the protocols for how to treat hermaphrodites and people who lose their penis,” said John Colapinto, a journalist for the New York Times who uncovered David’s story.

“He could hardly believe that this was out there as a successful case and that it was affecting others like him.”

Now well into his thirties, David had become depressed. He’d lost his job and he was separated from his wife.

In the spring of 2002 his brother died from a drug overdose.

Two years later on 4 May 2004, when David was 38, Janet and Ron had a visit from the police. David had committed suicide.

“They asked us to sit down and they said they had some bad news, that David was dead. I just cried.”

Cases like “John/Joan” – where an accident had taken place – are very rare. But there are still decisions being made about whether to bring children up as male or female if they suffer from what is called Disorders of Sex Development.