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June 11, 2024

Understanding Gender Identity: The Interplay of Programming, Conditioning, and Beliefs

BY Marc Mathys
In recent years, gender identity has become a significant topic of discussion, shedding light on the diverse ways individuals experience and express their gender. The conversation often touches upon various influences that shape our understanding of gender, including societal programming, personal conditioning, and deeply held beliefs. Let’s delve into how these factors intertwine and impact our perception of gender identity. 
Societal Programming: 
The blueprint of norms from the moment we are born, society starts to imprint gender norms on us. These norms serve as a blueprint, guiding our behavior, roles, and expectations based on our assigned gender at birth. For instance, boys are often encouraged to be assertive and strong, while girls might be nudged towards being nurturing and gentle. This societal programming is embedded in everything from the toys we play with to the media we consume. However, as our understanding of gender evolves, it becomes clear that these norms can be restrictive. They often fail to accommodate the vast spectrum of gender identities that exist beyond the binary framework of male and female. Recognizing this limitation prompts us to question and potentially reprogram these societal norms to be more inclusive.
Personal Conditioning: 
The individual experience while societal programming lays the foundation, personal conditioning adds another layer to our understanding of gender. Personal conditioning is influenced by our family, culture, education, and personal experiences. For example, a child raised in a household that values gender equality may have a different perspective on gender roles compared to one raised in a more traditional setting. Personal conditioning also includes our interactions with peers, teachers, and other influential figures in our lives. These experiences shape our self-concept and how we relate to our own gender identity. It’s through this lens that many people begin to explore and sometimes challenge the gender norms they’ve been taught. 
Beliefs: 
The core of our identity beliefs are the deeply held convictions that form the core of our identity. They are shaped by both societal programming and personal conditioning but can also be influenced by introspection and self-discovery. When it comes to gender identity, beliefs play a crucial role in how individuals perceive themselves and others. For some, gender identity aligns with their biological sex, a belief often reinforced by societal norms. For others, their gender identity may differ from their assigned sex at birth, leading them to identify as transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or other identities. These beliefs about oneself can be empowering but may also come with challenges, especially when they conflict with societal expectations. 
Moving towards inclusivity understanding the interplay of programming, conditioning, and beliefs is essential in fostering a more inclusive society

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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.

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