Gender Identity Sociologists are particularly interested in gender identity and how (or if) it determines gender roles. Gender identity appears to form very early in life and is most likely irreversible by age 4. Although the exact causes of gender identity remain unknown, biological, psychological, and social variables clearly influence the process. Genetics, prenatal and postnatal hormones, differences in the brain and the reproductive organs, and socialization all interact to mold a person's gender identity. Biological influences on gender identity Sexual differentiation , which encompasses the physiological processes whereby females become females and males become males, begins prenatally. The differences brought about by physiological processes ultimately interact with social-learning influences postpartum (after birth) to establish firmly a person's gender identity.
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