thinkiesandthoughtiesQuestion 11: Do you think your personality depends on your current sex? If you were to switch right now, would you still feel like “you”?

I wasn’t sure how different I would feel if I magically transformed into a man, so I made a list of traits I feel are true to my core personality: creative, wants attention, stubborn on occasion, kind, shy, and compassionate. If I were to instantly turn into a male, would these traits change? Do they only exist because I’m female?

I think changing sexes would challenge just how much I want attention. Through certain actions and mannerisms, I have learned (both consciously and unconsciously) how to use being female to my advantage — as a male, these actions and mannerisms would probably be received differently. In fact, most people would probably think I was a creep.

Here is an example: I’m authentically shy. Sure, but I’m also “fake-shy” in order to look cute in certain scenarios. I think acting “fake-shy” from time-to-time is positively received by most people I interact with. This is certainty a female privilege, but does “fake-shy” define who I am at the very core? I would have to say no, but it’s an important aspect, nonetheless.

There are probably several, if not countless, little actions like this whose survival depend on our sex.

If I were to magically transform into a man, I imagine I would still feel like me at the very core, but being a man would allow me different privileges — and, to be perfectly honest — many more privileges.

We don’t have to get into a debate on feminism or male privilege unless you really want to, but at the end of the day, I would rather be a man based on the advantages ingrained in our society.

View Jennifer’s answer to Question 10

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12 thoughts on “THINKIES & THOUGHTIES: Question 11

  1. I think that if my sex were to magically switch right now, after I got over the what-the-hell-just-happened-to-me factor, I’d still feel like me. However, if I had been born a man I think my personality would be somewhat different than it is today because my past expierences would be different.

    1. I think it is a given that we would be a completely different person if born a different gender. But, like you, I don’t think my core identity associates with one gender. I would still feel like me, too. Thank you for responding!

  2. I think good questions might be: Do the sexes have inherent biological differences that predispose either to certain personality traits? Does the mere modification of our genitalia affect out mental state?

    I’d like to answer the second question with a quote from I Heart Huckabees: “How am I not myself?”

    1. I don’t believe sex strictly dictates personality traits… but I could be wrong. I think personality is based on biology, yes, but more so by traits either sex could inherit. Some would argue the male sex is inherently more violent and the female more nurturing, but this isn’t ALWAYS the case. The second question is very interesting, and I would have to say that sex does modify our mental state. Gender roles create certain frames, which I don’t think can be ignored. If I were to change into a man right now, I would still feel like me, but I would be treated differently and would probably BEGIN to see myself differently. Thank you for commenting!

  3. Well, if I were to go through a sex-change operation, and follow it up with hormone treatments, I think over time I would change.

    But how much, really? Would I enjoy certain things less? Would my personal beliefs or morality change? I’m not so sure.

    But as Ashley said, if I had been born a female, I would be a completely different person, as my experiences would be different, the expectations put on me would have been different, and my physiology would have been different.

    1. I think it is a given that we would be a completely different person if born a different gender. But you raise an important question: how much would you change in you were switched sexes right now. I think this question is more about analyzing your attachment to your sex — do you feel most of your personality depends on male or female gender roles? Thank you for commenting!

  4. Good question! If I had been born a man I would probably have had a different life, and though I believe the ‘core’ me would be the same, different experiences would have changed my personality somewhat. If I were to change right now… That would make me a ‘gay’ man which could be very interesting…

    1. This might be one of the most important factors to consider: is who I’m attracted to define an important part of me? If being straight is something you hold close to your personality, then changing into a man and becoming gay (although you’re attracted to the same sex either way), then that transformation would detract from how you define yourself. Very interesting. Thank you for commenting!

  5. This is a difficult question. I think it would depend. If I were raised the same way and all the same things happened to me, I definitely do not think I would be the same person. I think that society would tell me, as a boy, that I was a wimp, too quiet, too nice, too shy. I would have been bullied much more. It’s also true that boys find it more difficult to reach out when they suffer from mental illness (very likely due to stigmas attached) so I would probably not have received the treatment I needed. Do to this and the fact that I don’t have a dad, I think I would be an angry person, despite how wonderful my momma is. I think that those experiences brought on by societal norms set forth for each gender would change me dramatically. If I were to magically switch right now I think I would feel happier. A lot of stress and anxiety for me comes from my outer appearance. I think that boys don’t have to work as hard to be deemed societally acceptable and I think that would be a plus for me.

    1. This is a very thoughtful comment and I appreciate your honesty. I believe we have similar feelings toward switching sexes and feeling happier. Although I consider myself a happy person, there are certain male privileges I want. However, there are certain female privileges I would miss. Either way, I think it’s unfortunate that both sexes have unique and usually superficial privileges. Thank you for commenting!

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