Psychology of Gender Identity Assignment | Homework for You
Your grade will also be based on a writing assignment designed to encourage critical thinking about theorizing and research on gender identity. The format of the assignment requires students to apply their knowledge of the psychological processes involved in developing one’s gender identity.
The paper should be 6-8 double-spaced typed pages, using 12-point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins. Points will be deducted for papers that are not written in APA style. Your paper must also include a minimum of 4 scholarly sources other than those listed in this syllabus.
John Colapinto’s book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised a Girl introduces you to a story that examines the role of nature and nurture as influences on gender identity. David Reimer (Bruce Reimer) was unknowingly born a male but raised as a female. By comparison, Jennifer Boylan’s autobiographical book She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders immerses you in the turmoil of her gender identity disorder and takes you through her transformation from male to female.
In this paper, I would like you to choose one of the books, and using some of the scientific theories of gender identity examine the relative influence of nature and nurture for David Reimer or Jennifer Boylan. Please address the following questions:
• What does being a boy/girl/man/woman mean to David Reimer/Jennifer Boylan? Is this a result of nature or nurture?
• What signaled gender to David Reimer/Jennifer Boylan (e.g., body parts, clothing, toys, friends, lovers)?
• Both David and Jennifer define and ultimately redefine their gender. How does this work both within and against complex social and cultural forces?
The Books are free to read:
Kimmel, M. (20123. The gendered society (5th Edition). Oxford University Press, NY. ISBN-13: 9780199927463
Boylan, J.F. (2003). She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders. New York, NY: Broadway Books.