Psychology and Development Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Childhood Development of Sexual Minorities

One might originally think it odd to approach a question about the experienced childhood development of minorities by opening a discussion of the children who will grow to be sexual and gender-identity minorities. Unlike most other minorities, these children are not generally being raised in a minority culture and family, and do not have the immediate support of their own race or culture about them to help prepare them for life as a minority. So in some ways, this is actually the ideal place to start such a discussion, because in this area one has unmitigated access to the experience of being a minority on the child's development, without the sheltering environment that surrounds other minorities. These children will, a majority of the time, emerge from the crucible of childhood as homosexual or possibly bisexual adults. A few more will go on to actually have their gender physically altered. (Ceglie) Gender Dysphoric children experience many of the developmental difficulties of other minorities, in addition to (obviously) specific developmental problems regarding gender roles and body image, they also experience setbacks in other areas: attachment and social development, aggression and victimization, unique problems with their parents, and general social dysfunction's.

Before moving on to the specific developmental issues faced by this minority, one would do well to admit that some might be skeptical that such a minority even exists. Because of the degree to which society (somewhat artificially) denies any sexual appetites existent among those under eighteen, the existence of sexual minorities among children may seem odd. However, increasingly research has show that both male homosexuality and gender dysphoria have biological roots, (Swan) and so one should expect to see the existence of transgendered children as well as transgendered adults. According to an interview with Louis Gooren, who heads up research at the Dutch National Clinic for Gender Dysphoria, evidence of being transgendered usually shows up in very early childhood, and needs to be addressed often by the time a child is five or six. (Swan) As one social worker who deals extensively with the families of transgendered children explains, as awareness of the issue grows more parents are seeking help and guidance while their children are still very small. "She is campaigning to widen the availability of treatment and receives up to eight inquiries a week from parents of children unhappy with their gender. 'One family has a child of seven who has wanted to be a girl since he was four,' she said. 'He exhibits all the signs of cross-gender behaviour.'" (Rogers)

Nor is this a mere matter of gender hysteria which forces young children into strange gender predicaments. "A follow-up study of transsexual adolescents who, after careful assessment, started the process of sex reassignment during adolescence (after the age of 16) shows that they had achieved a good level of psychological and social adjustment at least 1 year after surgical intervention (Cohen-Kettenis & van Goozen, 1997)." (Ceglie) Consistent clinical and anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that sexual minorities are innately aware of their status from the earliest moments of childhood when such things were still unnamed. In cases where the reality of their feelings were denied, the children were very negatively effected to the point of violence to self or even others. So one can see how this should have by now become a major issue for the story of childhood development.

Some aspects of child development are directly affected by this minority status, and others are merely affected in a secondary fashion. The most obvious aspect of child development to be affected is obviously that of gender. Child psychologists have long argued whether gender differences are based on the way in which children are raised or on a more general biological basis. For some time it was believed that the case study of Joan/John, as presented by Dr. Money, proved conclusively that child gender development was an issue of nurture. However, retrospectively we are given to understand that John had faith in his masculinity and never for an instant wished to be other than a young boy --today he is living and functioning as a boy, despite being raised female. So the predominant explanation today is one of nature.

Consistently stories speak of very young children who view their biological gender as a…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Psychology And Development" (2004, April 28) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from

"Psychology And Development" 28 April 2004. Web.6 December. 2016. <>

"Psychology And Development", 28 April 2004, Accessed.6 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Psychology the Development of

    Among other choices, those related to eating, drinking alcohol, sexuality, and peer group selection are some of the most important. In some respects, those decisions have a lot to do with the way that adolescent brains perceive, process, and react to external circumstances and experiences. The development of eating disorders is one example (Leon, Fulkerson, Perry, & Cudeck, 1993). Specifically, there is empirical cross-sectional data illustrating that specific teenage

  • Psychology Lifespan Development Personal

    Much later, my father explained the difference between rational optimism and rationalization and suggested to me that the former is probably more healthy psychologically than the latter. According to him, both achieve the same short-term benefit, but rationalization is associated with long-term consequences in the nature of clinical depression and mood swings. He explained that people who rationalize purposely avoid acknowledging disappointments and that this sort of repression usually

  • Psychology Social Development Across the

    At the same time, the relationship with the family changes as the teenager becomes more independent. Teenagers often spend more time with their friends than their family and also will listen more to their friends. The same trends from middle childhood also continue, as friends understand themselves as part of a peer group, and as one-on-one relationships with close friends become more important. The major social change that occurs

  • Child Psychology Child Development Is

    The most fundamental theorist in this area is Jean Piaget. Additionally, Piaget demonstrated one of the first scientific movements in the filed, with the utilization of direct observation as the best tool for understanding. (Piaget, 1962, p. 107) Piaget also believes, and his theories reflect that children play a very active and dynamic role in development through interaction with their environment and active role imitation. (Piaget, 1962, p. 159) Sensory-motor

  • Psychology Theories of Personality Focus on Inner

    Psychology Theories of personality focus on inner traits of individuals, which may or may not be viewed as static. The most important schools of personality psychology include Psychodynamic Theory, Freud's Theory of Personality, Humanistic Theory, B.F. Skinner's Theory of Personality, Social Learning Theory, and Evolutionary Personality Theory. While all these theories share in common their goal to explain, analyze, and understand human behavior in terms of personality explanations, there are important

  • Psychology Is Considered to Be an Area

    Psychology is considered to be an area of study that involves behavior. Behavior is demonstrated in a lot of diverse areas in the field of psychology. Some of these examples are mental illness, relationships, sexuality, depression, family dynamics, or culture. Accepting of behavior is picked up by various techniques and it could be from society or changes in individuals or the overall population. Psychologists look at various factors such as

  • Psychology Personality There Are Six Approaches for

    Psychology Personality There are six approaches for studying the personality development of a person. Two of the most popular ones are the biological and humanistic approaches. The other four of these approaches include the trait, cognitive, behavioral and psychoanalytic. Each of these approaches are used to describe the system through we acquire our personality and factors that influence this personality development. The use of the approach is determined by the psychotherapist

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved