When you meet someone new, your brain automatically uses schemas to identify characteristics or behavior that would allow you to classify the person into a group that you may already know. While this is an adaptive and helpful strategy that the human brain possesses, when taken to an extreme, it could lead to the formation of unhelpful or incorrect stereotypes about groups. Take a moment and consider what you already know about intersex, transgender, or other gender variant groups from personal experience, academic or professional work, or influences such as the media. Is your knowledge sufficient to bring sensitivity to work with members of gender variant populations?
In order to bring full sensitivity and awareness to bear on interacting with members of a particular group, humans must bring conscious thought to their perceptions, in addition to the automatic thinking that occurs. In other words, acknowledge commonalities related to gender variance, but also research information on groups, take the time to become aware of individual differences, and always seek to bring cultural sensitivity to your professional work.
For this Discussion, you will research a specific gender variant group of your choice and explain strategies that could be used to increase sensitivity toward members of the group. Remember that, just as biological and psychological diversity exists in other facets of human life (e.g., cognition, personality), so too does it exist in sexuality and gender.
· Select a group such as intersex, transgender, genderqueer, or a third gender with which you are not familiar (or the one you know the least about) and search for interviews, personal narratives, blogs, or any other form of information related to this specific population.
By Day 3
Post a description of the group or population you selected. Describe how your impressions, feelings or perspectives changed about this group as you researched the group. Looking forward, what strategies would you use to continue to raise your awareness and sensitivity toward this group?
Resources for this week question; Lehmiller, J. J. (2013). Psychology of human sexuality. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Chapter 5, “Gender and Gender Identity” (pp. 115–143)
Note: You will access this text from the Walden Library databases.
Simons, L. K., Leibowitz, S. F., & Hidalgo, M. A. (2014). Understanding gender variance in children and adolescents. Pediatric Annals, 43(6), e126–e131. doi:10.3928/00904481-20140522-07
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Oswalt , S. B., Evans, S., & Drott, A. (2016). Beyond alphabet soup: helping college health professionals understand sexual fluidity. Journal of American College Health, 64(6), 502–508. doi:10.1080/07448481.2016.1170688
Beyond Alphabet Soup: Helping College Health Professionals Understand Sexuality by Oswalt, S.B. et al in Journal of American College Health, 64(6). Copyright 2016 by Taylor & Francis Informa UK, Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Informa UK, Ltd. via the Copyright Clearance Center.
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