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Gender Identity Disorder

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Question 1

How the mind affect the body

Coleman (2003) asserts that Being a male or a female is one of the basic elements which compose individual personality and the sense of self.  However in gender identity disorder, this sense of self sexual identity is compromised with and individual identifies with the opposite sex. A person who is suffering from such disorder faces a hard time in actualizing their anatomical disorder. Individuals may act or in some cases present themselves as members of opposite sex and in some cases they may change their bodies.  It has been shown that the identity of the individual can be attributed to individual perception which is influence by the mind.

What is the relationship between the mind and the body? When we are young, we rarely notice our sexual orientation until around the age of 5 years according to the theories of development.  The predisposing factors to the development of the disorder can be traced to biological and psychological factors.  The biological factors which predispose individuals are related to androgens.  The gender identity development depends on the fetal and maternal androgens while the sex steroids will influence how sexual behavior will be expressed. (Coleman, 2003)

In the stages of development it has been shown that testosterones may affect neuron in the brain which in turn will lead to masculinisation of the brains. According to Freud theories of development, gender identity problem could be traced to problems which are experienced by children while they are in oedipal triangle. He shows that the quality of relationship between the child and the parents influence the role of growth of children and gender identity.

According to Coleman (2003) in gender identity disorder, an individual will claim the membership of an opposite sex. This means that if it is a female claiming male sexuality, her female mind will be trapped in a male body. The mind has a great influence on the body as it creates a sexual construction which influences sexual orientation of the individuals.   It is the mental state that defines sexual orientation.  Some have described cross-gender feelings or behavior more like a disorder. It is the mental state of the individual that ultimately determine who they perceive themselves. The mental construction that the opposite sex appears better influences the body to deny its sexual orientation and behave exactly like the opposite sex in many ways.

The mind creates in the individual person an image of an ideal gender.  The mind usually has a great influence on the functioning of the body which means the body will respond to the creation of the mind.  When the mind is attracted to the behavior of the opposite sex, the body will respond in the same way and therefore individuals will behave to the construction of their mind.

 According to Coleman (2003) there are different ways in which individuals can live with gender identity disorder. Individuals can assert a strong control of their body when dealing with this physical disorder.  The first important practice for individual to cope with the problem is self realization.  This means they will have an understanding of their orientation and their attraction to the opposite sex which will assist them to take control of their action and behavior. They also need to let others know of their orientation so that other may not find them too odd when they take orientation of an opposite sex. This will make others understands them and therefore not isolate them. In order to exert control on their physical disorder, they also need to be informed of the consequences which can help them to build on the positive consequences while at the same time avoiding negative consequences. It is also advisable for individual to seek counseling on how to deal with the problem.

Question 2

Gender difference in sexual behavior/attitudes

According to Muelhlenhard (2000) sexual attitude are influenced by the   biological and psychological factors within an individual.  However there are other socio-culture contexts like race, religions, media, and other which are also likely influence the way individual view sex. Unlike adolescents when social influence is likely to be a big factor in individual sexual issues, adult are less influence by social factors when it comes to sexual matters. However biological and cultural factors have been identified as having a great influence on adult sexual issues.

There is a great gender differences between males and females when it comes to sexual issue.  The way female view and value sex is very different from the way male view and value which at times will affect the pattern of adult relationship.

 However that is a common view among the two genders that sex is a biological and one of the important factors that bonds two people together. To both gender, sex is an expression of love and trust in relationship.  On a moral note, both sexes have a common view on sex as a necessary procreation activity which seals the purpose of marriage.

However when sex is done outside marriage, the meaning on both gender is completely altered.  It has been argued the in most cases sex outside marriage is not a compromise of both parties involved in the relationship. In most case, women will be reserved to engage in sexual matters while males will be pushing to engage in sex.

According to Muelhlenhard (2000) the difference between the two sexes when it comes to engagement in sex in a relationship is greatly influenced by the meaning each gender attaches to the act. To a man, sex appears more like a triumph over the female.  To a woman sex is an intimate act which is supposed to seal a relationship. In this case it is very clear that a women attaché more value to sex than a man. A woman in relationship may engage in sex in order to fulfill the will of a man rather than having sex on her own will.

This difference greatly influences the course of relationship in adults.  This is because sex is central to an adult relationship more so in marriage and the difference in understating and interpretation of the act may make one part feel oppressed than the other.  As a symbolic union between the two individual in a relations, a man may be pushing to have sex more often than a woman which will make the women fell more oppressed since she has to comply with the need of the man to save their relationship.

According to Muelhlenhard (2000) unless in rare cases females have been reserved about having sex with many partner. As dictated by culture set up of many societies, it was like a taboo for a woman to have sex with many men. But it is like an obvious thing for a man to have sex with multiple partners. This cultural sexual construction means that when a woman is known to have sex with more than one partner, she is likely to be downgraded and perhaps isolated by the peers. We should understand that this construction is very real even in the modern society.

This difference between male and female sexual behavior and attitudes clearly illustrate that there is a great gender difference between the two. It also mans that men and women hold different value and view on sex.  when it come sex, both genders find a common ground in understanding the important of the act but the behavior, attitude and value that is attached to sex is very different in both genders.


Muelhlenhard, C. L. (2000): Categories and sexuality. Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 37

Coleman, N. (2003): Boys will be girls. The Guardian, August 2003

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