Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Gender Nature Vs Nurture: Essay

Words: 1535
Pages: 3
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

The emergence of the transgender movement has raised many questions for psychologists as to its root causes of it. We find ourselves asking, much like homosexuality, is gender dysphoria a product of your environment, or are there underlying natural causes? While we still don’t know the specific cause or causes, we have been making great headway into understanding these individuals more. Finding out the underlying causes better equips up to help these individuals both psychologically and to better acclimate into society and further their acceptance. While the goal of these studies has mainly been to determine the cause of gender dysphoria from the standpoint of nature vs. nurture, it seems to be more of a combination of the two.

As stated in “Gender Identity: Nature and Nurture Working Together,” “As social scientists define the concept, gender identity is individuals’ self-definition as female or male, which is based on their biological sex as interpreted within their culture” (Eagly, Wood, 2017). Traditionally in society, an individual would have either been male or female. However, there has been a rapidly increasing fight for acceptance and understanding from the transgender community. This has opened up the idea of gender interpretation, straying away from the idea that sex is purely a natural idea. Biologically speaking, sex is determined based on the XX or XY chromosomes at birth, however, humans aren’t born understanding their gender roles in society. According to the study, this self-awareness isn’t formed until around 18 months of age. Early factors, such as personality traits and toy selection can be early indicators of one self’s gender identity. While early childhood decision-making can’t be used as proof of one’s identity, it does raise the question as to how the parent’s reactions to such choices will affect these individuals later in life.

In recent years, there has been a large emergence of young individuals beginning to question their gender, as well as making life decisions that will forever affect them. This raises the question, have people always been self-aware of their gender dysphoria from a young age, or is our society simply opening up more opportunities for acceptance and help? This is the idea explored in “Found in Transition: Our Littlest Transgender People.” The goal of this study is to determine and understand how individuals can feel disagreement with the gender on their birth certificate, and how families and psychologists can give them the proper care needed (Ehrensaft, 2014). Similarly, to the previous article, that people with gender dysphoria, even from a young age, are not fitting into the societal expectations of their birth gender. Further exploration into parenting techniques is needed to see if these ideas are simply being accepted or reinforced by the parents.

One of the major aspects of the nurture argument is the treatment that individuals with gender dysphoria received from society. According to “Boys don’t cry” – or do they? Adult attitudes toward and beliefs about transgender youth,” Participants recruited online reported generally favorable attitudes towards transgender minors but expressed some hesitation to allow a transgender child to use the restroom aligned with their gender as opposed to their birth sex” ” (Elischbeger, Glazier, Hill, Verduzco-Baker, 2016). This shows that while society as a whole is becoming more accepting of transgender people, specifically transgender youth, many people still express concerns. This idea reinforces that nurture can heavily affect the outcome of an individual with gender dysphoria. Growing up in a family that supports a choice such as a restroom selection would likely create an environment of acceptance, one in which they would feel comfortable with their choices.

However, the article also mentions that “Attitudes were less positive in respondents who reported a religious affiliation, conservative social-political views, and stronger conformity to certain traditional gender norms – particularly in men.” While this doesn’t inherently prove that gender dysphoria is created through nurture, as opposed to a genetic predisposition, it shows that there is still a profound impact on individuals. This explains the importance of educating the public on the needs of people with gender dysphoria, as well as teaching the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation (Elischbeger, Glazier, Hill, Verduzco-Baker, 2016).

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

The argument of nature vs nurture in the context of gender dysphoria raises some very important questions. One that must be asked is: how does an individual know if they are male or female? While there is no simple answer, it’s likely a combination of both nature and nurture. According to, “Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?”,” “A theory of gender development is presented that incorporates early biological factors that organize predispositions in temperament and attitudes.” The idea that individuals with gender dysphoria have a genetic predisposition to feeling uncomfortable with their birth sex is not new, but we now know more about it. “The predispositions establish preferences and aversions the growing child compares with those of others.” (Diamond, 2006) This reinforces the idea that while an individual is indeed born with the genetic makeup to have gender dysphoria, the way this individual understands and acts on it depends on the environment they are in. While individuals are born with a “gendered brain,” it is the life experiences that shape the way that the individual acts on their gender dysphoria.

An unfortunate statistic involving transgender people is the alarming rate at which suicide is attempted. While this may be used as evidence that these individuals are simply uncomfortable in their skin and want an escape, it also furthers the argument of nurture being the main factor in an individual’s ability to be transgender. This is shown in the study, “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Suicide Attempts and Substance Misuse Among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Adults,” where it’s stated they studied the “associations between family rejection and risk of suicide attempts and substance misuse among a national sample of transgender and gender nonconforming adults” (Klein, Golub, 2016). While it doesn’t prove causation, it shows that there is a direct correlation between the level of family acceptance and the rate at which individuals attempt suicide.

After controlling for age, race, birth sex, and other factors, the study was able to see the rate at which transgender individuals and those with gender dysphoria attempt suicide. According to the study, “Overall, 42.3% of the sample reported a suicide attempt and 26.3% reported miss using drugs or alcohol to cope with transgender-related discrimination.” This shows that even if an individual is genetically predisposed to being transgender, their happiness level and life satisfaction with their gender transformation are directly affected by their environment. It states that “family rejection was associated with increased odds of both behaviors. The level at which an individual’s family rejects transgenderism or non-conformity also dramatically increases the rate at which they attempt suicide.

The idea of nature vs nurture for gender dysphoria also raises the question, is gender identity concrete throughout life, or is it subject to change based on one’s environment? This idea is explored in, “Shifting Sands or Solid Foundation? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Identity Formation.” It asks if there is a “rock-solid foundation, stable and consistent over time,” or if it’s a process that adapts over time. While both arguments point to different initial causes of gender dysphoria, they share common themes. The two arguments both point to, “nature, biology, and essentialistic paradigms” (Eliason, Scope, 2007)). that confirms that gender identities are indeed a true psychological phenomenon. They both argue that if either nature or nurture causes gender dysphoria, gender identity stays consistent throughout life.

The Intervenable factors associated with suicide risk in transgender persons: a respondent-driven sampling study in Ontario, Canada study discusses out of the adult population, 0.5% is transgender and transsexual people. This study looked into the suicide rate of trans in all of Canada. (Bauer, Scheim, Pyne, Travers, Hammond, 2015). The study, Attempted suicide among transgender persons: The influence of gender-based discrimination and victimization, this study was conducted in San Francisco.

While there is still no concrete evidence as to the root causes of gender dysphoria, most studies have been in agreement. Transgender individuals are directly affected by both a genetic predisposition to gender dysphoria as well as the environment in which they grow up. While gender identity remains consistent throughout life, it is the acceptance and treatment of these individuals by their peers that determine the comfortability of their birth gender. While social and familial treatment does not determine if an individual has gender dysphoria, or becomes transgender, it does significantly improve one’s ability to feel comfortable in their skin. Acknowledging that gender identity is indeed “real,” will create a more welcoming society for those with gender dysphoria and will create waves of social acceptance. Only the future will tell if a higher-level acceptance will lead to an increased number of transgender individuals, or if it will lower the alarming rate of suicide attempts of this group. By understanding that transgender people are a product of both nature and nurture, we can understand gender dysphoria more and create a society in which we can allow them to figure out their identity. Over time, we will have a better understanding of how both nature and nurture work together to form the identities of those with gender dysphoria.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Gender Nature Vs Nurture: Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Gender Nature Vs Nurture: Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
Gender Nature Vs Nurture: Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Gender Nature Vs Nurture: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.