Devor提出的意义他人理论和广义他人理论，揭示了人的性别认同是如何建构的。“非常小的孩子学习他们的文化对性别和性别认同的社会定义的同时，他们也学习什么性别行为是适合他们的”(Devor 473)。即使是儿童，也有一些强加于儿童的观念，影响他们以某种方式理解性别。Devor根据影响者对这些影响进行了分类，他称影响者为重要影响者和广义影响者。广义他人定义为“儿童将社会的广义标准吸收到他们个人对什么是正确行为的概念中”的程度(Devor 474)。概括的其他人可能意味着儿童从一般社会中学习关于他们性别的一切，就像从每个人那里学习一样，但事实并非如此(Dozier)。
根据Devor(1989)“并不是所有其他人在我们的生活中都具有同等的重要性，因此也不是所有其他人都对自我的发展具有同等的影响”(Devor 474)。一些人通过他们与这个人的关系，或者通过影响的频率或重要性，可能会更显著地运用于他们性别认同的构建(Denny)。在“女孩”身上存在着重要的他人和泛化的他人。首先，“女孩”的叙述被认为是来自与女孩亲近的人。可能是母亲，也可能是某个年长的人，与女孩关系最为密切。因此这是一个重要的其他(Seil)。家人、亲密的朋友和亲戚可以被称为重要的其他人。在“这是你如何熨烫你父亲的卡其布裤子，使他们没有折痕”(Kincaid 320)的说明中，叙述者指示这个女孩必须学习熨烫衣服的技巧，不能招致父亲的批评。
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). There are significant others and generalized others present in the “Girl”. Primarily, the narrative of the “Girl” is seen to be coming from somebody close to the girl. It could be the mother or it could be some elder figure who is most significantly associated with the girl. Hence this is a significant other (Seil). Family and close friends and relatives could be called as significant others. In the instructions on “this is how you iron your father’s khaki pants so that they do not have a crease” (Kincaid 320), the narrator is instructing that the girl has to work on clothes pressing skills that does not invite criticism from her father.