Sexual development is a natural part of life. Sex is a biological form of the male and female make up. Sexual development is considered a universally biological aspect of life. Although, sexual development is the foundation of human existence everyone that is biologically labeled as a male or female do not identify themselves as such. Also social encounters that an individual experience develops gender identity. In this paper I will discuss the implication of the sociopolitical factors of gender and sexual identity/orientation in multiculturalism. I will address the following questions; what is gender identity and sexual identity/orientation? What is the role of gender identity in cross-cultural societies? What is the role of sexual identity/orientation in cross-cultural societies?
Finally what of their significance in understanding cultural difference? Gender identity has been defined as the possession by somebody of a conviction of belonging to a particular sex, regardless of whether this corresponds to his or her anatomical sex (Segall, pg 227, 1999). The universally acceptable definition is the specification of a sexual role whether male or female it is not the biological make up as of sexual identity. There are many different perceptions of cultures within gender identity given it is socially-cultured influence for example the LGBT community which is a socially created group in result of behaviors developed from external factors. Gender identity is a socially driven aspect of sexual make up. “Gender refers to the meanings attached to being male or female, as reflected in social statues, roles, and attitudes regarding the sexes…gender roles, gender identity, and sex-role ideology are not inherently biological. Therefore gender identity is not an inherently developed part of the human. In fact it is a psychologically developed discipline because it is a behavior and can be influenced by external factors.
Given that gender is easily manipulated and not manifested, male and female react to their gender roles in different ways. “Conditions in subsistence-level societies that can produce sex differences in psychological differentiation through socialization practices that may differentially influence the two sexes” (Segall, pg 232, 1999). Sexual identity is how an individual sexual identify them as and sexual identity has a direct correlation to refers to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted to. Sex alone is the biological make up of a human genital. In today’s society many cultures will consider a person sexual identity as identification of sexuality. Also in a more traditional conservative culture sexuality identity is of what GOD created one as at birth. Yet for evolutionist sexual identity is how one identifies one’s self as. In contrast sexual orientation is the nature of sexual preference, the direction of somebody’s sexual desire, toward people of the opposite sex, people of the same sex, or people of both sexes (Segall, pg 229, 1999. Unlike gender identity sexual identity is a physiological make up of human sexual desires and orientation. The difference between gender identity and sexual identity is the nature vs. nurture concept.
Gender identity is a product of nurture, and learned behavior while sexual identity/orientation is nature and apart of biology it is inherent. Gender identity is a universally accepted termed that is used in most cultures. Gender is a very controversial topic is conservative cultures. “The perspectives on the politics of difference obtained from poststructuralist queer theory underdetermine identity as it is experienced by a distinct subset of individuals, emblematized by non-traditional, non-conforming, and transgressive black queers” (Phillips & Stewart, pg 379, 2008). In mainstream society the ideology of gender identity has transitioned from male and female roles into gender confusion roles, which birth the LGBT population. In terms of cross-cultural correlation gender identity has a ethnocentric concept, meaning identity is very one side and biased. The groups that does not fall in the null group has to from a negative opinion of why they choose to have a gender identity verse a normal mainstream male female given identity.
“Identity allows [groups] to attain voice and visibility against a context of social repression as did discussions concerning the identities of people…reinforcing social ascription and categorization” (Phillips & Stewart, pg 380, 2008). Sexual identity/orientation as it relates to cross-culturalism is an inherented from of humans. Sexual formation as a biological form has very little variance across cultures due to the intangibility of sexual make-up. Yet in today’s society the relaxed notion of sex has transition into a not so culturally acceptable concept. Sexual identity/orientation is now the freedom of choice. A individual has the ability to decide which sex they want to identify which also the partner they want to share that identity with. “Behavior differences between the sexes are not identical in every society is enough to suggest that culture plays a role in shaping sex differences” (Segall ect, pg 227, 1999).
External factors has shape to roles of sexual and how it impact each specific group, for example the LBGT population. In traditional perspective of sexual identity/orientation cultures associate sexuality with religion and considered sexual promiscuity as a sin. “Social articulation of sexuality had been organized primarily by religion and it was fundamentally the religion monopoly over the sins of the flesh” (Parker, pg 253, 2009). Finally the significance of gender identity and sexual identity/orientation in understanding cultural difference are the generalizations associated with the terms. Across cultural both factors have played a significant role in the liberal society from conservative.
As children each culture bestow key gender roles as a form of upbringing from simply playing with dolls or truck to assisting the women in the kitchen and the men at work, each culture has a general ways of teaching socially accepted roles into their children. “All societies observed different inborn behavioral tendencies in males and females and shaped their socialization practices to reinforce such biologically determined tendencies” (Segall ect, pg 237, 1999). In conclusion although, sexual development is the foundation of human existence everyone that is biologically labeled as a male or female does not identify themselves as such. Also social encounters that an individual experience develops gender identity. The universally acceptable definition is the specification of a sexual role whether male or female it is not the biological make up as of sexual identity.
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