GENDER AND THE BODY (SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE)

Subject: Gender Studies
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 645
Topics: Gender Roles, Stress, Transgender
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The article that was read was titled “Gender: When the body and brain disagree” and written by Amanda Mascarelli. The article generally tells the story of Zoe MacGregor, who until the age of 9, lived as a boy named Ian. At age 10, Zoe recollects, “I was starting to feel more and more like I was not quite boy, but sort of both.” She then said to herself that she could not be a hybrid of both a boy and a girl and so she was a girl. The most dramatic moment of all these was when she decided to openly announce her social transition from being a boy to a girl to school mates, a week before they ended third grade. As explained by Lev (2013), gender transition occurs when a person takes steps to make his or her outward signs of gender depict what is identified as an inner identity. In the case of Zoe, it was starting to depict outward signs of a girl, as this was her inner identity.

There are a number of core contents and points that emerge from the story of Zoe that helps to give a sociological perspective of all that she went through as a growing teenager. One of these has already been identified as gender transition. Writing on the subject, Lev (2013) noted that this marks an important period in the life of a person who gets the feeling that his or her body and brain disagrees on gender. The reason the transition stage is important is that the way and manner in which it is accepted by the people who form the immediate society of the person involved could go a long way to affect the person either positively or negatively. For example in the case of Zoe, if her colleagues at school had been judgmental and unsupportive, she may never have been able to complete the transition. If this happened, it would have meant that for the rest of her life, the struggle between the body and brain would continue (Lucal, 1999).

The second concept that emerges is sexuality in general and transgender in specific. That is, after the sexual transition, a person’s sexuality becomes fully identified and at that point, the fellow is said to be a transgender (Testa et al., 2017). In modern society, there is greater level of integration for transgender people as they are now better accepted and respected for the choices they make about their gender and body. This is generally a better sign of social understanding, which is necessary to ensure that people are not discriminated against based on their sexuality. In the article by Westbrook and Schilt (2014), the concept of gender panic was highlighted as a situation which occurs due to poor understanding and appreciation of gender transition and transgender. It would be reiterated that as long as society can show more support for transgender people, the concept of gender panic would not be a reason that the rights of transgender people will be blocked by preventing transgender policies from being passed as was the case some time pass (Abowd, 2013).  

Did you like this sample?
  1. Abowd, M. (2013). How transgender policy sets off ‘gender panic’.
  2. Lev, A. I. (2013). Transgender emergence: Therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families. London: Routledge.
  3. Lucal, B. (1999). What It Means To Be Gendered Me. Gender & Society. 28(1), 32-57
  4. Mascarelli, A. L. (2015). Gender: When the body and brain disagree. 
  5. Testa, R. J., Michaels, M. S., Bliss, W., Rogers, M. L., Balsam, K. F., & Joiner, T. (2017). Suicidal ideation in transgender people: Gender minority stress and interpersonal theory factors. Journal of abnormal psychology, 126(1), 125.
  6. Westbrook, L. & Schilt, K. (2014). Doing Gender, Determining Gender: Transgender People, Gender Panics, and the Maintenance of the Sex/Gender/Sexuality System. Gender & Society. 28(1), 32-57
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