The article presented for discussion explores the labels adolescents use to describe their gender identity. The researchers observed a division of the subjects into two subgroups. The first is people who use the standard labels provided, such as male/female, transgender, gay/lesbian, or heterosexual. One of the research questions was to investigate what labels were used by students who rejected the standard labels (White et al., 2018). The second group of subjects provided the answer to this question; they used their labels, such as demisexual or gender-fluid pansexual. Research on this topic is significant for adolescent development. First and foremost, it shows in the fact that the consequences of labels used by adolescents can be dire (Laks Eizirik, 2019). For example, gay and lesbian adults have noted that using appropriate labels has helped them with their acceptance of their sexual identity.
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In addition, the use of new gender-independent labels is essential for adolescents’ development. For instance, traditional labels imply a gender identity when expressing sexual identity. The advantage of new labels, such as pansexual, is that they are gender-independent, and the adolescent can be freer to choose an identity. Gender and sexual identity labels also have a bathroom role in a person’s maturation process (McCarthy & McCarthy, 2018). They can change over time or remain the same throughout life. With an expanded range of labels, a person has more room for gender and sexual mobility throughout life, allowing freedom of personal development. Thus, labels are an essential part of identity awareness for adolescents who spend much time searching for themselves. Having a wide range of labels has a positive impact on one’s acceptance of one’s identity and acceptance in society.
Laks Eizirik, C. (2019). Identity, gender, and sexuality: 150 years after Freud. Routledge. Web.
McCarthy, B., & McCarthy, E. J. (2018). Finding your sexual voice: Celebrating female sexuality. Routledge. Web.
White, A. E., Moeller, J., Ivcevic, Z., & Brackett, M. A. (2018). Gender identity and sexual identity labels used by u.s. high school students: A co-occurrence network analysis. Psychology of sexual orientation and gender diversity. Advance online publication. Web.