The paper "Gender Appropriate and Inappropriate Behaviors" is a good example of an assignment on gender and sexual studies.
Are the behaviors discussed above (i.e., preferring things traditionally acceptable for specific sex) indicative of homosexuality? Why or why not?
No, they are not necessarily indicative of homosexuality rather it is an indication of gender identity disorder according to Giordano, (2012). Gender Identity Disorder is a sexual disorder where an individual (starting from children to adults) do not feel comfortable in identifying with their own gender as much as they identify with the opposite gender. This, therefore, leads them to carry out roles known for the opposite sex just as in the discussion where girls prefer boy activities and hence become tomboys or boys prefer girly activities and colors as defined by society.
Not all of the people with gender identity disorder eventually turn out to become homosexuals. Statistics indicate that there are those who range highly in the disorder and are so uncomfortable in their gender that they undergo sex-change where their genitals are removed and those of the gender they identify with are put and these are known as transsexuals. There are also those who when they age and become adults start identifying with their gender and become comfortable after years of intensive therapy. Others remain with their own genitals but opt to cross-dress or become transvestites either publicly or privately. The remaining others become fully homosexuals, bisexual or heterosexual.
Describe the psychological consequences (positive and negative) that might result from engaging in behaviors reserved for specific sex?
Engaging in behaviors reserved for the opposite sex leads to social stigmatization which ultimately leads to psychological effects. The first of these effects is the development of depression and other mental illnesses brought about by the depression. Depression develops as a result of the stigma as an individual is left with a dilemma whether to act as the community demands or follow their heart in public or in secret. Other than the depression, there is also a loss of self-esteem and value of self and this may even lead to suicide or engaging in substance abuse. Denial is also another common psychological consequence as a way of defense mechanism. The individual denies the existence of gender identity confusion (DeMarree and Rios, 2013).
On the other hand, those who accept engaging in such behaviors openly get emotional gratification. For those who undergo the sex change, they have renewed self-confidence and increased self-esteem as they attain the gender identity they so wished. As a result of the gratification at attaining their gender identity, they even are able to move on from one developmental need to the other and concentrate on other aspects of their lives.
Develop an argument for or against the concern that these children might be exhibiting a paraphilia. Which paraphilia(s) might apply and what criteria would you use based on the research?
There are different types of paraphilia and it is the behavior of the child that will explain what type of paraphilia they have. All these, however, will depend on whether they fulfill the requirements of a paraphilia according to the DSM-IV TR. The DSM-IV TR indicates that a paraphilia is a condition where an individual gets sexual gratification through fantasizing or physically engaging in an atypical behavior with a person or object. This is normally viewed as abnormal by society if and when discovered.
There are several types of paraphilias ranging from exhibitionism to fetishism but the one that is applicable to the children being discussed above is transvestic fetishism which involves excessive interest in cross-dressing. This is where the children and adults wear clothes of the opposite sex and living their fantasies that they are of the same sex as those clothes. This must be causing significant distress or impairment socially and must be recurrent for it to be considered a paraphilia (Barrett, 2007).
What, if any, intervention would you recommend to a parent whose little girl or boy expresses the desire to engage in behaviors typical of the opposite sex? If you do not believe intervention is necessary, explain why.
Intervention can be carried out in cases of children who show either the gender identity disorder of the transvestic paraphilia for those parents who wish to do so to their children. Interventions range from hormonal therapy to counseling and if in extreme cases, there is medicine (Sue and Sue, 2011). For those parents who wish to embrace their children in their behavior, they can leave them as they are to find their own identity and provide moral support.
Counseling for these children is also necessary in order to enable them to overcome or deal effectively with the stigmatization from the society as well as the psychological effects and especially the negative ones. Behavior therapy also comes in handy to make them sure that they truly want to identify with the opposite sex and how they can cope both in the short and long term.
Counseling for those with the disorders will enable them to accept themselves as they are and start identifying with their own gender. For those whose cases seem extreme, hormonal therapy where they are injected with doses of testosterone (for the boys) and estrogen (for the girls) is also carried out to increase their hormonal level which will ultimately make them identify with their own gender. This therapy goes hand in hand with counseling (Kearney and Trull, 2010).