Understanding Gender Identity A Qualitative Approach

Understanding Gender Identity: A Qualitative Approach



Female 1

Age of participant 16-30


61+ 1

KNOWLEDGE OF TRANSGENDER Are you familiar with the term gender identity Yes

No 1

Are you familiar with the term transgender Yes

No 1

Do you know any transgender person Yes, a lot

Yes, a little

No 1

Do you have any disability Yes(specify)



ETHNICITY(mark where appropriate) 1.English/Scottish/British 1

2.Any other white background(new eland/ North 3.America/dual nationality) 4.Black American/Asian/ 5.Other(specify) CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPANT Sexual orientation 1.Heterosexual/straight 2.Gay/lesbian 3.Bisexual 3

4.Other(specify) Religion(tick where applicable) 1.Christian 1

2.Hindu 3.Muslim 4.Jewish 5.Other(specify) Education 1.Degree/Higher diploma 1

2.A levels or higher/GCSE equivalent(Grade-C) 3.O level or GCSE equivalent(Graded-G) 4.Other(specify) Area of residence(tick where applicable) 1.London 2.Glasgow 3.Manchester 3

4.Other(specify) If transgender Gender identity of participant 1.Woman 2.man 3.Other including poly gender 4.Female to male(trans male) 5.Male to female(trans female) Intention to transition Yes, have already transited yes, am currently transiting none(other specify) 3

Are you a member of a group of trans people 1.yes 2.no 2

For quite a number of persons, the terms sex and gender are used interchangeably, yet they have different meanings and uses altogether. Gender is not connected to one’s physical features while sex, on the other hand, is biological. Gender identity, being a personal perception of oneself is based on various factors, ranging from personal experiences, environmental conditions to social and moral aspects. It involves the primary acceptance of one’s definition as either male or female. Gender identity is developed during the early growth stages of an individual; specifically at age three.it is formed as young ones seek approval from the society.

There are factors, though not completely understood, suggested as impelling its development.Genetic makeup, pre and postnatal hormone levels are among the biological factors that influence gender identity, among others. Moreover, social factors such as mass media, authority figures, family and power during a child’s growth also affect his/her identity. Language barriers, on the other hand, clearly bring out the femininity and masculinity characteristics of a child, thereby unconsciously adjusting the performance of the child.

With the interaction with the respondents, a point that clearly stood out was that a child’s behavior is moulded and shaped by persons surrounding them by trying to imitate their actions. Since the development of gender identity is attributed to certain factors, disorders, diagnoses and conditions are also associated with the same. These are brought about by discontentment with one’s sex assigned during birth or the roles associated with the same.

With the rapid changes the world today, brought about by changes in technology and evolution of cultures, the children are exposed to the risk of self-denial that latter leads to the current situation of lack of acceptances, low self-esteem and low self-worth. This contributes to the increased cases of homosexuality and to the extremes.

With the society viewing a certain group as inferior to the other also influences the behavior, leading to the transition from male to female and vice versa.


Thomson, R. (2009). Unfolding lives: youth, gender and change. Bristol: Policy Press.