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Midterm

PSY323H1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Penis Envy, Castration Anxiety, Electra Complex


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY323H1
Professor
Dax Urbszat
Study Guide
Midterm

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Chapter 1
What are sex stereotypes and how are they shaped and maintained by society?
-socially shared beliefs based on individuals membership in either the male or female
half of the human race
- beliefs about certain qualities assigned because of being female or male
-ambivalent sexism 1) hostile sexism: when directed against women, includes
dominance-oriented paternalism, derogatory beliefs about women, and heterosexual
hostility; when directed against men, includes resentment of paternalism, derogatory
beliefs about men, and heterosexual hostility 2) benevolent sexism: when directed
against women, includes protective paternalism idealization of women, and desire for
intimate relations; when directed against men, includes materialism idealization of men ,
and desire for intimate relations
Is there a difference between sex and gender?
-sex: a person’s biological maleness or femaleness
-gender: nonphysiological aspects of being female or male - the cultural expectations for
femininity and masculinity
-according to Matlin, sex-narrow term-inborn physiological characteristics relating to
reproduction-sex chromosomes or sex organs and gender- broader term- psychological
characteristics and social categories created by human culture
Chapter 2
Early theories?
Theory: set of ideas about how and why things happen
-the idea of equality between the sexes can be found in the early writings of the Greek
philosopher Plato, who described women and men as having the same nature and worth
and deserving the same education and legal treatment
-later, in the writings of Aristotle, the idea of feminine inferiority and incompleteness was
developed in detail. Aristotle claimed that the female state was an ordinary deformity and
that a woman was a defective man
-theories that viewed women as lesser beings than men because of their inability to
produce enough heat to process body fluids into semen, did not view women as

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opposites to men
How have psychoanalytic/ identification theories shaped our thinking about how and
why girls and boys grow up the way they do?
-Sigmund Freud’s Theory:
Id: a non-rational system based on pleasure principle; the source of sexual, aggressive
instincts, reservoir of psychic energy for ego, superego
Ego: based on reality principles; balances subjective needs and objective reality
Superego: a non-rational??, internal representative of society’s values and ideals
learned in childhood, enforced by rewards and punishments
-Boy’s Oedipus Complex: an intense attraction to mother -> sees father as his rival, feels
hostile toward him -> projects these hostile feeling onto the father, thus believing that his
father sees him as a rival -> fears his father will castrate him (castration anxiety) -> to
resolve this overwhelming fear, he identifies with his father and stamps out his own
desire for his mother -> results: masculine identification contempt of fear toward women
strong superego
-Girl’s Electra Complex: originally, bonded emotionally with mother -> notices her won
lack of a penis -> penis envy, sense of inferiority -> blames her mother for a lack of a
penis, withdraws affection from her -> eventually replaces her wish for a penis with a
wish for a child -> to obtain a child, she takes her father as a love object, and so
becomes jealous of her mother -> gradually realizes she can’t possess her father ->
reestablishes feminine identification with her mother and tries to become an attractive
love object for another man -> result: feminine identification, sexual attractiveness
becomes main source of self-esteem, rejection of clitoral sexuality, feeling of inferiority,
contempt for other women, wish for a child, weak superego
-Freud say men are more moral because men have a shorter more intense struggle
between the ID and EGO so stronger superego, more moral in contrast, women have a
longer less intense struggle between the ID and EGO so weaker Superego, less moral
Perspective on gender identification
1. Karen Horney: Child identifies with the same sex parent. May be difficult for girls
because females are often valued less in society. May be difficult for boys
because they envy the mother and because they must switch identification from
the mother to the father (although accepting the possibility of penis envy in girls
and castration anxiety in boys, she noted that males are also envious of females
because they envy pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood)

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2. Nancy Chodorow: Both children start out identifying with the mother because
she is the primary caretaker. Boys must later switch their identification to the
father, and they devalue femininity in their flight from it. Because of the power
wielded by the mother in the early mother-child relationship, both males and
females grow up to feel uneasy about female power.
3. Joseph Pleck: Male difficulties are caused not so much by problems with gender
identity as problems with gender identity as problems with gender roles.
Masculine gender roles are contradictory and inconsistent, making it difficult for
boys to settle into a comfortable gender role (gender-role strain)
What about evolution? Are women and men biologically programmed to behave
differently? How might culture and biology interact to produce female-male differences in
behavior?
Functionalism
-many functionalists held that women evolved with an inborn emotional tendency toward
nurturance, a tendency that could be triggered by contact with a helpless infant
-because the biological tasks of pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation are fulfilled by
women, these theorists reasoned that the presence of a maternal instinct in women but
not in men makes evolutionary sense
-Spencer: women devote most of their energy to preparation for pregnancy and
lactation, with the result that they have a little energy left over to develop other qualities
-Thorndike: conceived of women as naturally both more nurturant and more submissive
than men
Gender identification
Functionalism – women and men have complementary functions
Women: nurturing, moral, submissive, maternal instinct
Men: leadership, protective
Social/ structural/ cultural:
-two part theory 1) power and status 2) social roles and jobs
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