由Devor提出的意义重大的和广义的理论，是为了展示人们的性别身份是如何构建的。“非常年幼的孩子学习他们的文化对性别和性别认同的社会定义，同时他们知道什么性别行为适合他们”(Devor 473)。即使是孩子，也有一些对孩子的影响，影响他们以某些方式理解性别。Devor根据影响者对这些影响进行分类，他将影响者称为重要的和概括的其他人。广义的其他人被定义为“孩子们吸收社会的广义标准到他们个人的正确行为的概念”的程度(德文474)。广义的其他人可能意味着，孩子们从普通社会中了解了他们的性别，就像所有人一样，但事实并非如此(Dozier)。根据Devor(1989)的说法，“在我们的生活中，并不是所有的其他人都具有同等重要的意义，因此并不是所有的其他人都对自我的发展产生同样的影响”(Devor 474)。一些人由于他们与人的关系或在影响的频率或意义上的重要性，可能在他们的性别身份(Denny)的构建中更有意义。
The theory of significant and generalized others as presented by Devor serves to present how the gender identity of people are constructed. “Very young children learn their culture’s social definitions of gender and gender identity at the same time that they learn what gender behaviors are appropriate for them” (Devor 473). Even as children, there are impositions made on children which influences them to understand gender in certain ways. Devor classifies these influences based on the influencer, which he calls the significant and the generalized others. Generalized others are defined as the extent to which “children absorb the generalized standards of society into their personal concept of what is correct behavior” (Devor 474). The generalized others might signify that children learn everything about their gender from the general society, as in from everybody, but this is not the case (Dozier). According to Devor (1989) “not all others are of equal significance in our lives, and therefore not all others are of equal impact on the development of the self” (Devor 474). Some people by virtue of their relationship with the person or by the frequency or significance in influence might be more significantly employed in the construction of their gender identity (Denny).