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Gender Identity b.ed notes| Factors influencing Gender Identity

Gender Identity b.ed notes 

Concept of Gender Identity 

  • Gender identity refers to a personal identification with particular gender or gender role in a society.
  • Gender identity is defined as a self realisation of oneself as male or female or other on the basis of their personal experience.
  • It is personal sense of one's own gender.
  • Gender identity is a how we feel about and Express our Gender and gender roles.
  • It correlates with a persons assigned sex.


  • For example if a person considers himself a male and his most comfortable referring to his personal gender in masculine terms then his gender identity is male.
  • Gender is our social and legal status as boys and girls, men and women.
  • Identity is the qualities, looks and expressions, personality and beliefs that make the person or group identifiable.
  • Identity is related to self image, self esteem, self reflection and Awareness of Self, self understanding, self realisation and individuality.

  • Categorising the roles for men and women create problem in the society and individuals identify themselves as a man and woman, rather than allowed to choose roles ,behaviour and attitude of their interest and choice.
  • Different cultures have different roles, norms and believes based on gender. There is no Universal standard for men and women roles across all cultures.
  • Gender role consists the behaviour attitude and appearance of a person according to his or her gender.
  • There are social Expectations that defines the appropriate behaviour of men and women. These expectations vary from one society to another .This creates gender inequality in a society.


  • Masculinity is a set of attributes, behaviour and roles associated with men or boys.
  • It is a combination of biological factors and socially defined factors.
  • Woman can also exhibit masculine traits and behaviours.
  • Masculine traits include courage, Independence and assertiveness.



  • Associated with femaleness
  • Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviour and roles associated with women or girls.
  • Men can also exhibit feminine traits and behaviours.

Factors influencing gender identity

Social and environmental factors :

  • Children develop their gender identity through observing and imitating the gender linked Behaviours of others .
  • In general, children raised watching their parents adhering to strict gender stereotyped roles are more likely to take on those roles themselves as adults.
  • Social factors which may influence gender identity ideas regarding gender roles conveyed by family, authority figures, mass media and other influential people in a child's life.


Language : 

children develop their gender identity through language while learning a language, children learn to separate masculine and feminine characteristics and unconsciously adjust their own behaviour to these pre-determined roles.

Biological factors :

As human develop, their biological composition can shift for varieties of reasons ranging from diet, psychological health or illness, to Physical illness that may affect one's chemical production and subsequently cause differences in how one identifies in terms of gender. These differences assist in understanding one possible factor in how one creates, explores or defines gender identity.


Several prenatal , biological factors ,including genes and hormones , may effect gender identity.

The biochemical theory of gender identity suggests that people acquire gender identities through such factors rather than socialization 

Competition : 

competition for economic and social power can also influence one's gender identity, as gender is highly starified with men having more societal and excessive economic power and privilege than women in our culture.

Hormonal influences are also complex ;

sex determining hormones are produced at an early stage of fetal development