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Transcript
Chapter Two
Theoretical Perspectives
Theoretical Perspectives
• “[Girls] notice the penis of a brother or playmate,
strikingly visible and of large proportions, at
once recognize it as the superior counterpart of
their own small and inconspicuous organ, and
from that time forward fall a victim to envy for the
penis.”
– Sigmund Freud
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Psychoanalytic Theory
Psychoanalytic Theory
• Psychoanalytic theory: a psychological theory
originated by Freud; its basic assumption is that
part of the human psyche is unconscious.
• Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
– Humans are dominated by 2 basic instincts
• Libido: sex drive or life force
• Thanatos: death force
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Psychoanalytic Theory (cont’d.)
• Libido is focused on the erogenous zones
– Erogenous zones: areas of the body that are
particularly sensitive to sexual stimulation
– Each zone is a part of the skin or mucous membrane
highly endowed with blood supply and nerve endings,
make it very sensitive to stimulation.
– Examples: lips/mouth, anal region, genitals
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Psychoanalytic Theory:
Stages of Development
• One of Freud’s greatest contributions was to
promote the view of human personality as being
the result of development
• Stage theory of psychosexual development
– Stages characterized by focus on an erogenous zone
• Stage 1: Oral
– Infant derives pleasure from sucking, eating;
experiences world through mouth
• Stage 2: Anal
– Toddler derives pleasure from defecating
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Psychoanalytic Theory:
Stages of Development (cont’d.)
• Stage 3: Phallic
– Ages 3-6; pleasure zone is the genitals; sexual
feelings arise toward the parent of the other gender
– Oedipal Complex
• Named for the Greek myth of Oedipus
• Boy develops sexual desire for his mother, but sees that
father, who is his rival, is so powerful that he might castrate
his own son (boy feels castration anxiety) in retaliation
• By repressing his sexual desire for mother, the boy identifies
with his father, and therefore introjects the values and ethics
of society (as represented by father), developing a
conscience or superego
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Psychoanalytic Theory:
Stages of Development (cont’d.)
• Stage 3: Phallic (continued)
– For a girl, the phallic stage is considerably different,
beginning with the realization that she has no penis
– Recognizing that the penis is superior to her clitoris,
she feels envious of males and develops penis envy
– She also feels mutilating, believing that she had a
penis at one time, but that it was cut off
– Electra complex
• Holding her mother responsible for her castration, a girl
develops an intense sexual attraction for and desire to be
impregnated by her father
• Desire to impregnated by father develops into maternal urges
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Psychoanalytic Theory
• Passivity, Masochism, and Narcissism
– Freud believed there are 3 key female personality
traits:
• Passivity: desire to be impregnated,
• Masochism: the desire to experience pain, as in being
“penetrated” and through childbirth
• Narcissism
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Psychoanalytic Theory (cont’d.)
• Immature Superego
– The girl is not motivated to resolve the Electra
complex (she’s already castrated), so she never
develops a fully mature superego and her moral
development is inadequate
– Thus, she maintains lifelong feelings of inferiority, a
predisposition to jealousy, and intense maternal
desires
• Freud (1948): “Their [girls’] superego is never so inexorable,
so impersonal, so independent of its emotional origins as we
require it to be in men.”
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Criticisms of Psychoanalytic Theory
• Concepts cannot be evaluated scientifically to determine
accuracy (how do we measure the unconscious?)
• Freud derived his ideas from work with patients who
sought therapy; he theory describes disturbed, not
normal, behavior
• Freud overemphasized biological determinants of human
behavior in seeing origins of gender differences as
rooted in anatomical differences
• Freud’s views are phallocentric (male centered, penis
centered), assuming that the vagina and clitoris are
inferior to the penis
– Do little girls instantly recognize the superiority of the penis?
– Phallocentric theory is an example of a male-as-normative,
androcentric model in psychology
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Variations on a
Freudian Theme
Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Karen Horney (1885-1952)
• Freudian theory articulates boys’ childish views of
girls
• Importance of penis envy was overstated, that the
critical factor was actually womb envy, male’s envy
of woman’s uterus and reproductive capacity
• Male achievement represents overcompensation for
feelings of anatomical inferiority
• Emphasized cultural and social influences and
human growth
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Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Helene Deutsch (1884-1982)
• The Psychology of Women (1944)
• Extended Freud’s theory to later development,
focusing on motherhood
• Focused on “feminine core” of personality, including
narcissism, masochism, passivity, instinct, and
intuition
• Masculinity complex: some women’s failure to adjust,
seen in aggression, active masculine tendencies
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Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Anna Freud (1895-1982)
• Youngest of Sigmund Freud’s children, but only child
to continue father’s work
• Enormous impact on field of psychoanalysis:
founding child psychoanalysis and play therapy
• Founded a school for orphaned children during
WWII, studying their behavior
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Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Nancy Chodorow
• The Reproduction of Mothering (1978)
– Childcare done by women produces vastly different
experiences for daughters than for sons; daughters
want to mother, sons devalue and dominate women
– The early, intensely close relationship with the mother
affects the sense of self and attitudes toward women:
expect women to be caring, self-sacrificing
– Girl sees similarity to mother, defines self in relational
terms, but boys define masculinity as non-femininity,
and thus devalue women
– Mothering perpetuates itself and the gendered
division of labor
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Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Nancy Chodorow (cont’d.)
• Chodorow’s work integrates feminism
– Feminist reconstruction of Freudian theory: penis
envy stems from the fact that the penis
symbolizes the power men have in our society
– Prescription for social change to eliminate
inequities for women: men must participate
equally in childcare to break cycle of female
devaluation
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Variations on a Freudian Theme:
Nancy Chodorow (cont’d.)
• Testing Chodorow’s Theory
– Mother-daughter pairs are physically and
psychologically closer than mother-son pairs
• Criticisms of Chodorow’s Theory
– Heterosexist bias: no attempt to understand lesbian
development
– Ignores influences of race and social class
– Like Freud, Chodorow’s evidence stems from
observations of clinical population
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Sociobiology and
Evolutionary Psychology
Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology
• Sociobiology: application of evolutionary theory
to explaining the social behavior of animals,
including people.
– Initially proposed by E.O. Wilson (1975)
– E.g., how does evolution shape maternal behavior?
• Review evolution by natural selection…
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Evolution by Natural Selection
– First proposed by Charles Darwin (1881)
– The process by which the fittest animals survive,
reproduce, and pass their genes on to the next
generation, whereas animals that are less fit do not
reproduce and therefore do not pass on their genes
• Fitness: animal’s relative contribution of genes to
the next generation
– Central theorem of sociobiology: When a social
behavior is genetically influenced, the animal should
behavior so as to maximize fitness.
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Parental investment: behaviors or other
investments in the offspring by the parent that
increase the offspring’s chance of survival
– Importance to psychology of women:
• Females invest egg, pregnancy, nursing...
• But males must invest only sperm
– Parent with greater investment should care for
young—quality, not quantity
– Other parent should try to produce as many offspring
as possible—quantity, not quality
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Why do women do the childcare?
– Greater parental investment
– Maternity is always certain, paternity is not
• Exception to pattern of maternal care:
– Songbirds: equal participation in care of young;
monogamous mating system makes paternity certain
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Explaining female orgasm…
– Babies are born helpless, dependent, in need of care
– Monogamous mating systems are adaptive
– Female orgasm evolved to keep the parents together
• Explaining the double standard…
– Tolerance of male promiscuity and disapproval of
female promiscuity is adaptive, given the gender
differences in parental investment
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Sexual selection: process by which members of one
gender (usually males) compete with each other for
mating privileges with members of the other gender
(usually females), and members of the other gender
(females) choose to mate only with certain preferred
members of the first gender (males)
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Evolutionary psychology (Buss, 1995)
– Humans’ complex psychological mechanisms are the
result of evolution based on natural selection
– Sexual strategies theory: women and men had
different short- and long-term mating strategies
• It is to men’s evolutionary advantage to inseminate many
women, so they invest in short-term mating (especially
because they can’t be certain of paternity), preferring
younger women who are at peak fertility
• Because women have greater parental investment, they put
energy into long-term mating strategies to ensure a man’s
commitment to provide for family, preferring men who
possess resources
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Feminist criticisms
– Biology is often a convenient rationalization for
perpetuating the status quo
• E.g., sexual selection makes men genetically dominant and
women genetically subordinate
– Sociobiologists view data from an androcentric
perspective, only discussing data that support their
androcentric theories
• E.g., female chimpanzees are promiscuous, not at all choosy
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Feminist criticisms
– Sociobiology rests on an outmoded version of
evolutionary theory that modern biologists consider
naïve
• E.g., focus on individual survival rather than group and
species survival
– Many studies contradicting evolutionary psychology
are beginning to emerge
• E.g., waist-to-hip ratio research is not as conclusive as once
thought
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Feminist criticisms
– Eagly & Wood (1999) re-analyzed Buss’s crosscultural data and proposed an alternative to his
sexual strategies theory
– Social-structural theory: a theory of the origin of
psychological gender differences that focuses on the
social structure, particularly the division of labor
between men and women
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Sociobiology & Evolutionary
Psychology (cont’d.)
• Feminist sociobiology?
– Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (1999)
• Women have evolved to care for their children and ensure
their survival, but in reality these evolved tendencies are
miles away from romanticized Victorian notions of selfsacrificing motherhood.
• E.g., all female primates combine work and family: they must
be ambitious, successful foragers
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Social Learning Theory
Social Learning Theory
• Principles of operant conditioning explain the
acquisition of gender roles
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Social Learning Theory (cont’d.)
• The mechanisms of social learning theory:
– Reinforcement: something that occurs after a
behavior and makes the behavior more likely to occur
in the future
– Imitation: when people do what they see others doing;
we imitate same-gender adults more than othergender adults
– Observational learning: when a person observes
someone doing something, and then does it at a later
time;
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Social Learning Theory (cont’d.)
• Evidence for social learning theory:
– Effectiveness of imitation and reinforcements in
shaping children’s behavior, in particular gendertyped behaviors such as aggression
– Bandura (1965) found boys to be more aggressive
than girls
• gender differences disappeared when children were offered
reinforcements for being aggressive
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Social Learning Theory (cont’d.)
• Cognitive social learning theory adds an
emphasis on cognitive processes
– Attention: process focuses on relevant behaviors;
e.g., pay more attention to same-gender models
– Self-regulation: monitor own behavior and regulate it
according to gender norms
– Self-efficacy: belief in ability to accomplish a particular
task, plays a role in maintaining gender-typed
behaviors
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Cognitive-Developmental
Theory
Cognitive-Developmental Theory
• Piaget & Inhelder: children have different cognitive
organization from adults
• Gender identity: individual’s knowledge that she or he is
a female or male; develops ~18-24 mos
• Gender constancy: child’s understanding that gender is a
permanent, unchanging characteristic of the self;
develops ~5-7 yrs; crucial for adoption of gender roles
• Gender-role learning as one aspect of cognitive
development
– Children self-socialize based on gender constancy
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Cognitive-Developmental
Theory (cont’d.)
• Evaluation of theory
– Children who have acquired gender constancy imitate
same-gender models
– Preschoolers who have acquired gender constancy
are more stereotyped in their views of adult
occupations than are preschoolers who do not have
gender constancy
– But, children’s gender-typed interests appear before
gender constancy (~ 2-3 yrs)
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory:
Kohlberg on Moral Development
• Kohlberg presented this dilemma:
– In Europe, a woman was near death from a special
kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors
thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a
druggist in the same town had recently discovered.
The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist
was charging 10 times what the drug cost him to
make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged
$2,000 for a small dose of the drug.
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory:
Kohlberg on Moral Development (cont’d.)
The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to
everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he
could only get together about $1,000, which is half
of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying
and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But
he druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going
to make money from it.” So Heinz gets desperate and
considers breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for
is wife. Should Heinz steal the drug? Why?
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory:
Kohlberg on Moral Development (cont’d.)
• The important part isn’t whether Heinz should
steal, but rather why.
• Kohlberg concluded that people go through a
series of three levels (each divided into 2
stages) in their moral reasoning as they mature:
–
–
–
–
Preconventional: rewards vs. punishments
Conventional: obey rules rigidly
Postconventional: internalized ethical principles
Most adults don’t reach level III: males reach stage 4,
but females only reach stage 3
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory: Gilligan
• Gilligan (1982) provided a feminist critique of
Kohlberg’s work on moral development
– Main character is a man—girls and women may have
trouble identifying with him
– Kohlberg’s sample was all male
– Female deficit interpretation that women are deficient
by only reaching stage 3; maybe theory is deficient
instead.
• Gilligan provided feminist reformulation
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory: Gilligan
(cont’d.)
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory: Gilligan
(cont’d.)
• Gilligan said that males and females reason
differently about moral dilemmas
– Males use a justice perspective: an approach to moral
reasoning that emphasizes fairness and the rights of
the individual
– Females use a care perspective: an approach to
moral reasoning that emphasizes relationships
between people and caring for others and the self
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Cognitive-Developmental Theory: Gilligan
(cont’d.)
• Evidence for Gilligan’s reformulation?
– Although it is an example of new feminist scholarship,
including women’s perspectives, evidence suggests
that the gender differences are small
• Men use a justice perspective slightly more
• Women use a care perspective slightly more
• Most people use a combination of both perspectives in moral
reasoning
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Gender Schema Theory
Gender Schema Theory
• A father and his son were involved in a car
accident in which the father was killed and the
son was seriously injured. The father was
pronounced dead at the scene of the accident
and his body was taken to a local mortuary. The
son was taken by ambulance to a hospital and
was immediately wheeled into an operating
room. A surgeon was called. Upon seeing the
patient, the attending surgeon exclaimed, “Oh
my God, it’s my son!”
• Can you explain this?
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Gender Schema Theory (cont’d.)
• The surgeon is the boy’s mother
– Difficult to figure out because of our gender schemas
• A schema is a general knowledge framework that a
person has about a particular topic; it processes,
organizes new information on topic
• Our perception and memory of information are a result of
an interaction of incoming information with our
preexisting schema
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Gender Schema Theory (cont’d.)
• Thus, a gender schema (Bem, 1981) is a person’s
general knowledge framework about gender; it
processes and organizes information on the basis of
gender-linked associations
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Gender Schema Theory (cont’d.)
• Gender schemas are closely linked to our selfconcept
– A girl’s self-esteem is dependent on how well she
measures up to her girl schema
• Different individuals have, to some extent,
different gender schemas
• The gender schema is more central to selfconcept for some people—those who are highly
gender-typed
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Gender Schema Theory (cont’d.)
• Evidence for gender
schema theory
– 5- and 6-year olds
tend to remember the
picture on the left but
distort the picture on
the right so it’s
stereotype-consistent
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Feminist Theories
Feminist Theories
• Gender as status and power
– Gender is a class variable in our society; males and
females are unequal in status
– Sexism is pervasive, existing in political, academic,
economic, and interpersonal spheres
– Men have greater power than women
– The personal is political: personal, individual
experiences are manifestations of larger political
issues
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Feminist Theories (cont’d.)
• Sexuality
– A central issue for feminism because women’s
sexuality has been repressed and depressed, but
rarely expressed
– Women’s sexuality is controlled by men
• Gender roles and socialization
– American society has well-defined roles for males and
for females; such roles are constricting to individuals
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Feminist Theories (cont’d.)
• External vs. internal attributions of problems
– Feminists view the sources of women’s problems as
being external
• Consciousness raising
– Major technique of analysis, structure of organization,
method of practice, and theory of social change of the
women’s movement (MacKinnon, 1982)
– Focus on seeing personal experiences in larger
political context
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Feminist Theories (cont’d.)
• Varieties of feminism:
– Liberal feminism: women should have the opportunities and
rights equal to those of men; work to reform current system
– Cultural feminism: women have special, unique qualities that
differentiate them from men; our patriarchal society devalues
those qualities
– Marxist feminism: oppression of women is just one instance of
oppression based on class, rooted in capitalism
– Radical feminism: patriarchal values have saturated society to
such an extent that radical changes are needed, such as femaleonly space safe from oppression
– Postmodern feminism: questions rationality and objectivity as
methods for getting at truth; advocates social constructionist
epistemology
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Feminist Theories (cont’d.)
• Gender, race/ethnicity, and class
– Gender cannot be understood as a social variable in
isolation; it can be understood only in the context of
race and social class as well
• Social construction of gender
– Social constructionism: theoretical viewpoint that
humans do not discover reality directly; rather, they
construct meanings for events in the environment
based on own prior experiences and beliefs
• Examples: Two-Spirit; pregnancy and ritual of couvade
• Gender as a stimulus variable as well as person variable
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Feminist Theories (cont’d.)
• Attitudes toward feminism
– 21% of women think of selves as feminists
– 75% of women think feminism improved lives
• Evaluation of feminist theories…
– New Right & Conservatives
– Some propositions are difficult to evaluate
scientifically
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In Conclusion
In Conclusion
• Six major theoretical perspectives
– Psychoanalytic, evolutionary, social learning,
cognitive-developmental, gender schema, and
feminist theories
– More studies support social learning and cognitivedevelopmental theories
– Each theory makes unique contribution
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