Gender II

This is a discussion continued from the previous column about sex and gender. I presented the idea each of us is both male and female sex and gender, somewhere on the continuum of human sex and gender. And I presented our individual continuum on the larger continuum.

Since each of us is a combination of male and female, and this can be presented as two bar graphs of each sex and gender within us, where the sum is the totality of our whole sex and gender. This is then divided into two parts, the part nature gave us in our genes, and the part we get from life, our nuture.

It is the sum of the nature and nuture of each sex and gender within us that defines our sex and gender expression. The nature is given and the nuture we learn from our family, friends, experiences, and life. The nuture can be both positive, reinforcing a social expression or behavior, or negative, inhibiting the opposite sex or gender expression or behavior. It is the totality of both that defines the overall proportion of each and where we fall on the sex and gender continuum.

As we go through life the nuture part of our sex and gender changes from positive or negative experiences. We add to or subtract from our nuture. In many people the same sex and gender nuture part adds to our own behavior and expression. But in those people with more balanced proportions, it creates confusion in the individual's own identity. And it transgender individuals, it inhibits the individual's need to be the other gender.

In transgender individuals, they have the need to do the opposite of what we're taught, the nuture we accumulate in their life. They need to reduce the nuture of their birth sex and gender and add to the opposite, which is their innate gender identity. It is the one thing our society hasn't learned to accept with transgender individuals, they need support exactly opposite of what we learn, the freedom to be themselves.

What can we learn from this? Positive nuture is relative, and negative nuture is never helpful.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013