Toward an account of gender identity

Jenkins, K. (2018) Toward an account of gender identity. Ergo, 5(27), pp. 713-744. (doi: 10.3998/ergo.12405314.0005.027)

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Although the concept of gender identity plays a prominent role in campaigns for trans rights, it is not well understood, and common definitions suffer from a problematic circularity. This paper undertakes an ameliorative inquiry into the concept of gender identity, taking as a starting point the ways in which trans rights movements seek to use the concept. First, I set out six desiderata that a target concept of gender identity should meet. I then consider three analytic accounts of gender identity: the dispositional account, the self-identification account, and the norm-relevancy account. I argue that only the norm-relevancy account can meet all six desiderata. Finally, I defend the norm-relevancy account from three objections: that it is cisnormative, that it has problematic implications regarding trans women, and that it entails that some people do not have the gender identity they take themselves to have.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jenkins, Dr Katharine
Authors: Jenkins, K.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Ergo
Publisher:Michigan Publishing
ISSN (Online):2330-4014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author
First Published:First published in Ergo 5(27):713-744
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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