The Origin of Gender Identity

  • John Hoenig
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (PISE)


The subjective sense of belonging to one sex is normally taken entirely for granted. The law in its varied history always had much to say about the rights or duties of men or the rights or duties of women, but (until very recently) it has never bothered to provide a definition of who is a man or who is a woman. The law in many cases defined specifically what a man or woman can or cannot do, what work they must not do, what clothes they must not wear, with whom they can or cannot enter into a marriage, or what specific obligations they have. But what constitutes a man or woman, what essential characteristics he or she has, are nowhere specified.


Gender Role Gender Identity Birth Certificate External Genitalia Gender Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Hoenig
    • 1
  1. 1.Clarke Institute of PsychiatryGender Identity ClinicTorontoCanada

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