How Sex and Gender Issues Can Affect a Transgender Child
Sex is a biological trait which determines the reproductive role of an animal, plant or even in humans, both male and female, in plants and animals which reproduce through sexual reproduction. The classification of an organism into male or female determines its sex. Sexual differentiation in humans is believed to have evolved after the beginning of the evolution of the species. The sexual difference between male and female came about due to the evolution of the Y chromosome, which enables men to engender children while women are usually ovulating during the time of the menstrual cycle, which is generally about three days after ovulation. Therefore, it could be concluded that in the past, when there was no Y chromosome, both males and females were born without sex organs.
Genitalia or the genitals differ in males and females. Genitalia in males differ from females in terms of the length, thickness and colour of the organ, whereas in females the genitalia are smooth, fleshy in shape. In both the genders, the genitalia have the gonads which protrude outwards with the paired testicles. The penis in males is made up of the testicles themselves, whereas in females the penis is shaped somewhat like a fish. In addition, the male genitalia also contain spongy ligaments, veins and lymph nodes whereas the female genitalia has all these structures in place.
As mentioned above, intersex occurs in people who have an X chromosome and those who have a Y chromosome (or are sexually attracted to women). People who fall under this category are referred to as intersexed. This means that they have developed genitals which are either completely male (Y) or completely female (X). This can be clearly seen in intersex twins, where identical twins who were otherwise genetically very similar have significantly different genitalia (one X and one Y). Similarities in intersex twins do not stop here. Cross-bred animals such as mice and rats that have had Y chromosomes and X chromosomes develop sexual organs which are either completely male (X) or completely female (Y).
Transgender is an intersex classification that applies to people who have developed a sex characteristic that is different from their birth sex, but would like to retain the ability to reproduce. This may include people who wish to undergo medical treatments so that their genitals would no longer produce any visible signs of the desired sex. People who fall under the transgender umbrella include transgender females (X chromosomes), transgendered males (X chromosomes and a Y chromosome), and transgender males (Y chromosomes). Transgender is considered to be a normal condition since at birth; all three chromosomes of the male species are present in a person. However, due to social and cultural pressures, some people choose to suppress or eliminate their gender identity. For example, a person who feels that he or she is female but has been encouraged to adopt a boyish appearance through surgery may be a transgender.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is caused by psychological causes such as trauma, abuse, or neurological disorders. When a person has come to terms with their gender identity disorder and choose to live as a member of the opposite sex, they may develop GID. The term for this disorder is “non-conformity with sexual expectations”. GID is similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia, since it is not correlated with a specific genetic cause. There have been many studies that suggest that people with GID have brain structures that are structured differently from the rest of the brain. This may be caused by the presence of two alternative sex characteristics, which are referred to as chromosomes.
In terms of the chromosomes, the genes that determine a person’s gender can be either X or Y. However, these chromosomes do not determine one’s gender at birth. Sexual orientation is determined by biological factors such as the chromosomes a person carries and the hormonal levels during development and throughout life. Although there are now ways to provide help for individuals who identify as transgender, the greater focus now is on coming up with ways to understand and treat this mental disorder. More information regarding sex and gender issues can be found at Transgendered Help.