Academic journal article Education

The Reliability and Validity of the Anima-Animus Continuum Scale

Academic journal article Education

The Reliability and Validity of the Anima-Animus Continuum Scale

Article excerpt

Majority of the people were/are born biologically male or female and the progeny of the sexual union of them carries the world on. The importance of procreation has cemented society's firm belief in the current sex dichotomy all over the world. Every individual must be male or female, no in-between. Even individuals who are born intersexed, which means that either their sexual anatomy, or their chromosomes, do not fall within the traditional classification of male and female, are forced to conform by society, and by medical intervention, to either the male or female category ("International Spectrum," 2015). One way this was carried out in the past was through conversion therapy, which was also known as reparative or reorientation therapy. It consisted of "a set of varied psychological and therapeutic interventions that have as their primary objective the alteration of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals' sexual orientation from one that is homosexual in nature to one that is predominantly heterosexual" (Cramer, Golom, LoPresto, & Kirkley, 2008, p. 94). This was widely practiced for many years by medical professionals to change individuals in order to force them into the strict sex dichotomy. Recently this was banned in the U. S. at the state level (Dockterman, 2015), as it has no medical or scientific justification (Shapiro, 2016). It is impossible and unethical to treat something, such as being LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, plus more), as a psychological disorder when it is not.

Although sex is a biological construct that cannot be fundamentally changed, it does not define an individual. The way in which society views it can.

Several distinctions should be made among the wide variety of terms used to describe sex, gender, and individual identifications that already exist. In general, "sex" refers to biological sex, which includes three categories: biological males, biological females, and intersexed individuals.

Gender is the socially constructed characteristics and roles associated with each biological sex (Killerman, 2014). Gender identity then, is the subjective sense of being male or female, as defined by one's culture and society (Rosenberg & Kosslyn, 2014). For some people their gender identity is in accord with their biological sex; for others, it is not. When an individual's gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex are aligned, the individual is considered cis-gender, and when these elements are not aligned, the individual is considered transgender (Killerman, 2014). An individual who identifies as transgender is also often clinically diagnosed as having gender dysphoria, which is "a psychological disorder characterized by an incongruence between a person's assigned gender at birth and the subjective experience of his or her gender, and that incongruence causes distress" (Rosenberg & Kosslyn, 2014, p. 329). Some individuals also identify as genderless, meaning they do not identify with any gender (Killerman, 2014). Gender expression, terms such as male, female, two-spirit, genderneutral, gender-queer, gender-fluid, etc. are used to refer to how individuals display gender through such things as appearance, speech, behavior, movement, and other factors usually associated with masculinity or femininity.

Sexual orientation is the type of sexual, romantic, and/or physical attraction that an individual feels towards others (Killerman, 2014). Common sexual orientation include labels such as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, straight with a bit of gayness, aromantic, asexual, and on and on. Expressions of gender and sexuality actually go beyond all these and they are increasingly moving from the margins to the mainstream. Facebook, with its more than 1 billion users, now has about 60 options for users' gender. And companies are getting in on the movement too-a recent Bud Light commercial declared that beer is for "people of all genders. …

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