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born this way?

Kim K's picture

Rebecca Jordan-Young's article (and some posts on here) discuss David Reimer's case in relation to "proving" that gender is inborn in people, and cannot be nurtured or influenced by society. For me, this has been an interesting topic to debate, since I read the book (As Nature Made Him) a few years ago for my gender studies class in community college. Many of my fellow classmates and even my teacher confessed that before reading about Reimer's case, they considered gender to be more influenced by nurture than nature. I am reminded of my two nieces, who are two and five years old - they are obsessed with all things (forgive me for using this word) - girly. And no one in the family has outwardly encouraged this female-centric behavior. It's an interesting perspective to see such young children who are so aware of their femininity. Of course, both my nieces "fit" into their genders. I am also reminded of an article I read (in People magazine I think) about a little boy who was diagnosed with gender dismorphic disorder. He wears dresses, and goes by a girl's name, instead of his birth-given boy name. His parents are raising him/her as a girl, and trying to help him/her deal with his/her gender as best they can. Both these examples are a strong argument towards the nature aspect that, when it comes to gender, maybe we are (as Lady Gaga would say) just born this way.