Posted: November 30th, 2013
Gender identity refers to an individual’s sense of his or her own gender or sex. All societies have a basic division between the two genders. Some attributes are given to both genders in order to differentiate them. This term is used in both medicine and psychology. In medicine, it is used to explain gender reassignment surgery. In psychology, on the other hand, it is determined by social factors as well as biological factors. In some cases, the gender identity of the person is not consistent with their biological characteristics. In such cases, it may be noticed that such individuals mimic the opposite gender’s behaviors. Such individuals are known as transgender or gender variant. Some may resort to dressing like the other gender for instance.
The article to be critiqued is from the Journal of Counseling and Development, volume 90, January 2012. It discusses the analysis of gender and counselor professional identity development (Healeys and Hays, 2012). It addresses the matter in depth and provides the much-needed explanations of some psychological terms deemed difficult by most people. The issue of gender identity has many controversies surrounding it. This issue has, however shed some light on it. This article is based on a study that included a large number of counselors and educators, as well as transgender individuals. This is remarkable since it has not based its study on previous materials on the subject but has rather opted to carry out its own research. Another admirable aspect of this article is that it has sought the transgender individuals’ opinion on the matter since they are the most affected.
On the other hand, it has not sought the opinion of the ordinary citizen on the matter. This may have been avoided in order to prevent outright discrimination against the transgender individuals. If there were such prejudice against them, it would instill fear, making them find it very difficult to admit their personalities. In the case of psychologists, it would pose a significant problem since their patients will prefer to shun from this in fear of being judged by the society. In such a case, they will not obtain the help that they require.
The journal has also included the limitations of the study that they conducted. This is a reputable addition to the article due to the honesty of the writers. It also shows the readers and practitioners the downside of the study, and that they should not completely rely on the information given as it is subject to errors. On the other hand, some limitations they have noted could have easily been avoided. One such limitation is that they had more female participants. This could have been rectified by the addition of the male subjects in the study. Another limitation to the study was that the majority of the respondents were female; the male respondents were about 15%, as opposed to the female 85%.
The article was splendid in that it included the implications that this article may have on the counselors and educators in the grassroots. This was remarkable since the article stated what the practitioners should expect after the study. This is important, since they know what to expect from their patients and can therefore, come up with ways to make them more comfortable and to diminish their fear.
The issue of gender identity, however controversial, should be publicized and dealt with effectively. This is because the affected individuals are ordinarily shunned by their societies. Unfortunately, what the society does not understand is that the transgender individuals do not just transform in a day. It takes place gradually as they grow up. They should then be accorded with respect just like the rest of the individuals who are not transgender.
Healey, C.A., Hays, D.G. (2012). A discriminate analysis of gender and counselor professional identity development. Journal of Counseling and Development, volume 90, (issue 1), pages 55-62
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