What Does It Mean to Have a Gender? | INFJ Forum

What Does It Mean to Have a Gender?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by WaeV, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. WaeV

    WaeV Community Member

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    I was discussing this with a friend earlier today when I wondered what INFJ Forum might have to say on the subject. What exactly does gender signify? In what manner am I male?

    Gender seems to be a label which generalizes people into (usually) a binary system. When more options are tendered, I find that they refer to one's sexuality, which I take to be different from gender.

    Society: Divides people into categories. One can determine one's gender through society if one identified with the defined gender roles.

    Evolutionary Psychology: Divides people into categories. One can determine one's gender through evolutionary psychology if one identifies with the patterns of behavior associated with a particular gender.

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  2. invisible

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    this topic interests me

    i read that some feminist theorist have used "gender" as a way of describing the behaviours etc that correlate in populations with biological sex but as being in actuality independent of it ie culturally formed. for example the idea that women like things such as pink and dolls and painting their toenails is not related to the fact that they were born with a uterus.

    as a novitiate feminist i have sometimes thought that certain sex-linked patterns of behaviour may have a biological basis in hormones etc but that the extent to which this is believed to determine everything about a person is culturally totally out of control, does not account for the vast real differences between individuals, and men and women on an individual basis are really not different at all.

    i feel that this sort of thing is slightly complicated by gender reassignment. a friend of mine told me that she thinks people have some sort of possibly innate sex identity as distinct from either biological sex or cultural indoctrination. i had heard the story before that she told me, about a male baby whose penis was destroyed in a routine circumcision, and his parents and doctor removed the remains of his male genitalia and brought him up as a girl - but s/he refused to be a girl, and identified as male - underwent gender reassignment again to live as a male and marry a woman. (i heard that he later committed suicide after a divorce and financial difficulties.)

    (just some ideas.)
     
  3. invisible

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    also, once read about an isolated population studied by the anthropologist margaret mead, where the women did all the tasks our cultures consider to be masculine, and men were much more "feminine" and dependent.
     
  4. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    Pretty much, nothing.
     
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  5. Saru Inc

    Saru Inc Schrödinger's Pussy
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    sex: the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles; "she didn't want to know the sex of the foetus"
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    Gender is the wide set of characteristics that are seen to distinguish between male and female entities, extending from one's biological sex to, in humans, one's social role or gender identity. As a word, it has more than one valid definition. ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender


    In all realism, it's quite simple. It's what the person feels like they are meant to be. Though 99% of the people in the world choose to be the gender they are, some just aren't. While I don't know any transgendered irl, I do know how they feel.
     
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  6. invisible

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    i wish i could feel that it's simple, haha.
     
  7. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    a differentiation between individuals based in sexual organs
     
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  8. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    From what I recall, there is:

    - sex
    - sexual identity
    - sexual orientation
    - gender
    - gender identity
    - gender role

    If I'm not mistaken with that list, those 6 are all of which we tend to group together and refer to as gender/sex (more commonly, gender). Our societies prescribe very limited options with which we're supposed to identify, but it's not that simple. It only seems simple when we fit into the prescribed framework, because everything's running smoothly so to speak. But any deviation from that isn't typically accepted (or its acceptance has had to be advocated for), and suddenly it gets brought to our attention that it may not be as simple as, for example, penis=boy=xyz, vagina=girl=abc. It's really late, I hope this makes sense and is correct. In any case, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't think it's very simple at all in theory, if not in conscious experience. Gender is a a construct that's largely taken for granted, stereotyped, and then 'naturalized'. Each of us is affected by this but not in the same ways or to the same degrees or intensities.
     
    #8 Soulful, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
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  9. Deathjam

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    tits and arse
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  10. Barnabas

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    The avatar combined with the monkey following the post made lol, I think everyone should rep this post, I know I will.
     
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  11. Chessie

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    There is a certain strangeness in gender that is developing as time goes on. Gender begins as the first definition of a child. It comes as soon as they're out of the womb. Every person refers to that person based on a set of characteristics which are largely biological.

    Myself, being transgendered I've found that gender is very fluid. People shift gender modes constantly and the only thing that seems not to shift is their biology. Would that were the case. I think people would be a lot happier.

    Still, something interesting has happened with the development of the internet. The fluidity of gender, like everything else, has accelerated. People's capacity to be one thing then another both in their minds and in their outward expression to others has increased exponentially. Solidity in gender roles has slowly slipped away from the modes proposed by the (very limited) traditional 'Does it have a penis or a vagina?' model. In a matter of years as biology becomes as mod-able as psychology there will be a new array of genders the like of which we haven't even considered yet.

    I'm looking forward to it!
     
  12. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    I believe gender is first determined when the sperm cell
    meets the egg. The child does not need to exit the womb for it
    to be identified with a sex.
     
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