Gender Options On Facebook Essay

1271 words - 5 pages

On February 13th, Facebook added a new feature to its ever-growing customization regime; now users can choose a gender option other than “male” or “female”. Many people were startled by this because, after all, what else could there be? Actually, there’s now fifty-eight things it could be, ranging from agender to pangender and everything in between. There has been much debate on the necessity of these new options, some arguments being stronger than others. For many, it has become a debate on human rights. While many people do not think that the new Facebook gender options are necessary, it still needs to be analyzed from a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual viewpoint in order to understand human aspects.
In order to understand the different gender options, they first need to be explained. Some are familiar, while some are completely foreign. An article from ABC News gave comprehensive definitions for all fifty eight of Facebook’s new gender options. Someone who is bigender identifies as both male and female simultaneously. Someone who identifies as CIS, an abbreviated form of “comfortable in skin”, identifies with the sex assigned to them at birth (male or female). Gender nonconforming refers to someone who identifies as a gender that is outside of the “traditional” spectrum; they’re not male and they’re not female, but they’re not both. Someone who is pangender identifies as all available genders simultaneously. Trans (and all variations of the wording) refers to someone who does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, and now identifies as the opposite. They may or may not undergo reassignment surgery to change their sex. Most people are genderfluid to some extent, even if they don’t realize it. Being genderfluid means that you change your identity in varying degrees on the gender spectrum. This can be extreme or subtle. For example, someone who acts more feminine when spending time with female friends, and acts more masculine when with male friends. While there are many more variations, this shortened list is a basic summary of different gender options. For a more detailed list, please see Appendix A.
It was once believed that someone who did not identify with their sex assigned at birth had some sort of mental disorder. This has such been disproven many times over. According to Nancy Bartlett and her associates at Concordia University and the University of Lethbridge, “there is insufficient evidence to make any conclusive statement regarding children who experience discomfort with their biological sex.” She goes on to add that “the diagnostic category of [Gender Identity Disorder] in children in its current form should not appear in future editions of the [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders].” While this may seem like having a gender identity automatically makes you somehow psychologically inept, that’s far from the truth. In fact Bartlett goes on to add that those, “who experience a sense of...

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