At various points of time, people wonder about their identity. The eternal question of who exactly one is predominated the existence. Who do you identify yourself with? What forms your identity? What is the essential essence of your identity? Is it race, sex, religion, age, political beliefs, culture, sexual orientation, class status, nationality or anything else? Is identity static or does it changes depending on the person you are with?
To answer all the questions, one’s identity is a mix up of what one wants to be along with what others want one to become. One learns about one’s own identity by interactions with peers, family, media, organisations, institutions and all other connections that are made on day to day basis. Whether it is genes, social class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender etc- all collectively play an important role in understanding the world with clarity.
WHAT ELEMENTS MAKE UP IDENTITY?
Identity is the culmination of culture, ethnicity, gender, skills, abilities, physical attributes, hobbies, values, beliefs etc. Identity is the reflection of one’s own self by choice. There are several elements that determine identity-
- Religious identityIt can bring together a lot of people who identify themselves with one particular religious group. The group identifies with a set of similar teachings and beliefs.
- Ethnic and Cultural identityThe culture that one comes from forms a major part of one’s identity. The cultural values and beliefs give a common ground to the individuals, forming their identity. For instance, if your culture values make a strong woman who is like a warrior taking on the world, then you would identify more with feminists.
- National identityNational identity is the one’s identity that senses nation as a whole. The feeling of nationality unites the people. It becomes a part of who they are as a whole. For instance, the feeling of being an Indian unites all the states in India and makes the residents feel oneness with each other.
- Professional identityIt is a sense of oneness with people having a similar professional field like medicine, law etc. It comes with the person’s roles, responsibilities etc related to one’s profession.
- Gender, sex or sexual identityGender identity relates to how a person views oneself with respect to a particular gender. The sexual orientation and inclinations come with shares beliefs which make people come together in support of each other. For instance, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
OVERVIEW OF ROLE OF DNA
DNA is the genetic blueprint of life. DNA is extremely important for the inheritance which helps in coding the proteins. Ever since the discovery of DNA happened, it led to various phenomenal changes in the evolution of medical history. It helped in devising new methods for the treatment of diseases since DNA consists of information that helps in the survival of an organism.
In the DNA, the information related to coding of proteins is stored. The information in the DNA is first to read and then sent to the messenger molecule. It contains information regarding the production of a specific protein by the amino acid. It also transfers the genetic messages throughout the cells in the body. Not only for information replication of DNA is an extremely important for the growth of cells and tissues. It forms the basis of evolution.
HOW DOES DNA DETERMINE ONE’S IDENTITY?
A major part of understanding about one’s identity stems from how one fits in the society and how one doesn’t. Even though one’s ideas and ideologies play an important role in shaping up one’s personality, one cannot deny the role of genetic makeup that forms the crux of one’s identity.
Psychology deals with the study and explanation of identity and personality. One of the theory is related to biology which believes that genes have a large role in determining our personality. It states that the good values, bad values, happy nature or sad nature etc comes down to the composition of genes. Personality gets passed down through genes. For instance, various people have been heard saying ‘he/ she is exactly like his/her father in terms of anger’.
Almost 99.9% of the human DNA is similar in all the human beings. It is the DNA which makes one a human. DNA determines a lot of human characteristics like the colour of eyes, body structure etc. Only 0.5% of the DNA which is different makes up for the uniqueness of an individual. It determines the gender of the human being. No one can have exact same DNA as another person. Half of the individual’s DNA comes down from his father and a half from his mother. This is the reason why family members look alike.
Today’s era is that of technological innovation and inventions. A simple swab from individual’s cheeks can reveal one’s entire genetic heritage. By matching a DNA sample obtained from a crime scene (from blood stain, semen, saliva etc) to the database, the criminal’s identification can be easily done.