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The studies related to gender orientation and whether it is inborn feature or optional choice have been creating many controversies for decades. Thus, it is clear that those young individuals who are bisexuals, lesbian and gay might be affected by negative perceptions and attitudes that eventually lead to mental health problem. Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to discuss the issue regarding gender orientation and define certain conclusions.
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Researchers conduct multiple studies in order to find out the impact of external factors on the children’s gender orientation. Thereafter, Rachel Karniol with other scholars has observed the behavior of 12 children who were exposed to close contact with animals. The outcome proved that youngsters were not affected by the gender of the animals, but had strange attitude to those creatures that have an ambiguous gender. Thus, the gender orientation of the child was a key factor that determined the level of liking certain animal, which means that definite correlation exists (in frame of gender) (Karniol, et al., 2000).
Self-esteem is identified as one of the most important components to be anxious about during the process of adolescence. Independent identity establishment happens due to self-esteem and has a direct correlation to gender orientation. Thereafter, there are certain differences between the boys and the girls in terms of self-esteem as the first mentioned have higher levels of it in physical abilities and the later mentioned just have it higher in average. This moment is very important as girls tend to develop their self-esteem in order to be socialized within the meaning of developing interpersonal relationships, while boys need socialization to prove physical strengths that is related to sports or other activities. The multiple studies of the mentioned correlation of self-esteem and gender orientation have revealed strong connection, since femininity is associated with romantic and interpersonal relations, while masculinity is related to friendship in terms of physical strengths. The studies suggest that high femininity is very dangerous in social groups as it might lead to high levels of scholastic competencies. Actually, a need for communication is a trigger for higher levels of self-eseem and femininity that tempers those boys who might have focused on physical aspects (Rose, Montemayor, 1994).
This is important to mention that both children and adolescents must receive proper psychological support in terms of gender orientation, in case certain individuals face difficulties in the mentioned area. Thus, most children tend to certain patterns of behavior that might be understood wrongly by parents, but this is important to draw a clear distinguishing line between youngsters that have a variations in behaviors related to gender roles, and those who face a serious gender discordance. This must be further diagnosed with the help of the professionals, who must act in confidential and nonjudgmental way (Am Fam Physician, 2013).
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Children show signs of sexual behavior and interests not so long after birth. Scientists claim that development of the gender orientation is related to social, cognitive, psychical and emotional factors. Kohlberg examines a theory that is about the fact that children actually tend to learn their gender and what it means to be a girl or a boy. The process includes three stages starting from early years. The first one covers ages 3 to 4 and is about gender labeling. During this stage, children are told who boys and girls are, but they can barely identify the differences in body organs and believe that gender might be changed. Gender consistency becomes clearer to children during the second stage (6-7 years old). In this period children realize that their gender is determined for the rest of their lives. Thus, during the third stage certain differences of the pattern might happen, and small number of kids starts suffering in terms of their gender identity and experiences what early adolescence is (Oswalt, 2014).
The society has progressed a lot and researchers have got an opportunity to study not only genes, but social conditions and see whether children who are raised by gay parents tend to the same patterns of behavior. It is clear that this is a challenge for such children to choose the sexual identity as it results also in more frequent mental breakdowns and confusions. However, the researchers have identified that children of the gay and lesbian parents are developing normally in terms of gender oriientation, but still certain inconsistencies in communication with peers might exist (APA Council of Representatives, 2004).
The scholars cannot reach a consensus whether gender orientation is a result of the environmental influences or something inborn. Thus, there has been much more evidence that genetic prejudice is the major fact in gender orientation. Dean Hamer has recently published a study that gave evidence of at least partial genetic origin of sexuality due to certain chromosomes formula. The study involved interviewing of the homosexual males of certain families and the data revealed the high levels of inheritance especially through mothers’ lines. It makes sense as the X chromosomes are inherited only from the mother. Thus, there must be understanding that women and men vary in terms of perception of gender orientation, as the first mentioned respond equally to homosexual and heterosexual images. Moreover, another study that was carried out by William Reiner revealed that genes might be so strong that even environmental influences might be unable to hide them. Thereafter, the study was conducted over small children who from infancy have experienced gender-changing operations and were not told of this experiment. However, being grown as women, they still experienced a sexual attraction to other females. Still, the case that involved twins that seemed to have the mentioned X genes with a tendency to become homosexuals, have only showed rare cases when both of the children were gay (Abrams, 2007).
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As a closing remark, it is important to mention that final conclusion whether gender orientation is optional or it is inborn have not been made by the scholars and scientists. However, the theory that inborn gender orientation exists has been supported with more evidence, and people, especially children and adolescences, are not making a choice to be gay, lesbian or transgender, as this has been given them with the genes. Sexual orientation is about psycho-emotional experience, which is more often biologically determined, but individuals still have a choice whether they should respond to their attractions. Thus, denial of attractions would not lead to their elimination. This is very important for the parents to be responsive and support their children.
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