Current evidence* seems to indicate that there is something biologically innate that shapes gender IDENTITY (how we psychologically understand our gender); however, this does not mean that sex organs/genitalia are what (biologically) determine gender identity (i.e., gender identity is distinct from biological sex). Further, we are also learning that biological sex and gender identity are distinct constructs from gender EXPRESSION (which is distinct from sexual orientation, and so on).
So, despite having an internal sense of our gender identity, many of us still don’t really know what that means, but we learn what is expected of us/others as someone of a particular gender from various sources throughout our lives (socialization is extremely powerful in shaping gender norms and roles, which influence gender expression, as well as one’s sense of gender identity to an extent; the timing and extent of this influence vary across individuals).
Knowing that gender identity and expression align neatly for some but not others, curiosity remains about the connection between gender identity and expression, and for an individual’s internal experience with gender and how they are treated by members of society, particularly for those who are deemed as nonconforming by dominant societal standards.
Try to imaginewhat being transgender feels like (certainly this can be difficult for cisgender people to imagine but we are going to try!). After all, recall that a part of critical thinking and thinking sociologically involves examining issues from various perspectives.
• First, read through the thought exercise(s)* presented next, and then consider the series of questions that follow.
• Next, in a fewpassages