Posted: Jan 09, 2011 1:56 pm
by TMB
Beatsong, I suggest that you need to look more widely at peoples sense of who they are rather than just their gender. There are many socially imposed norms placed upon for people to conform to and by and large they try to do this, especially in earlier life, gender is one of these. For an average person you are likley to find something about themselves they are uncomfortable with usually this is due to social perceptions and often they strive to modify this in an attempt to met this norm. Consider the subject of our body image. Most people have an idea of themselves not meeting a socially ideal (but unreal norm) in terms of wight, height, skin texture, hair color, and use many mechanisms to 'correct' these. Many of these also reflect gender types, so women feel less feminine if they have excessive body hair, or less attractive if they are fat, or more attractive if they wear makeup or have breast implants. Men are also affected by their appearance but less so than women, they are more likley to reflect their strived for social status. In extreme cases of body dysmorphia people feel that one of their limbs does not feel right and have it amputated. Issues arise when they are unbale to meet the percieved standard. Most people have some issues with their body image, and they way they are percieved in society. While sexual orientation and a sense of gender appears to have strong biological underpinings society appears to be the mechanism that creats the conflict. This means that a sense of matching your gender is not likely to feel like anything because it is highly internalised when there is no conflict. Even if there is conflict, it can take many decades to emerge. Where the conflict does arise, then there will be a sense of being the 'wrong' gender. In the theoretical case of not being in a society, how would an isolated individual assess if they fely 'wrong' or 'right' according to their gender and sex. For them, they would justy be what they are. They might have conflicts with their environment, as they strived to stay alive, avoid being prey, predating etc, but its hard to see how they would have a yardstick to asess their 'right' gender without being among other people.