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Chapter 1

PSY426H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Robert Stoller, Castration Anxiety, Oedipus Complex

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The different voice i describe is characterized not by gender but theme. Its association with
women is an empirical observation...the association is not absolute, two modes of thought
Their convergence marks time of crisis and change
Differences arise in a social context where factors of social status and power combine with
reproductive bio to shape the experience of males and females and the relations btw the sexes
The college student study explored identity and moral development in the early adult yrs by
relating the view of self and thinking about morality to experiences of moral conflict and the
making of life choices
The abortion decision study considered the relation btw experience and thought and the role of
conflict in development...interviewed during first trimester of confirmed pregnancy
Asked how ppl defined moral problems and what experiences they construed as moral conflicts
int heir lives
Rights and responsibilities study involved females and males matched for age, intelligence,
education, job, class at 9 points in life cycle. Data were collected on conceptions of self and
morality, experiences of moral conflict and choice, and judgements of hypothetical moral
Nature of conceptions depends in part on the position of the observer
At a time when efforts are being made to eradicate discrimination btw the sexes in the search
for social equality and justice, the differences btw the sexes are being rediscovered in the social
sciences. Occurs when theories formerly considered to be sexually neutral in their scientific
objectivity are found instead to reflect a consistent observational and evaluative bias
Accustomed to seeing life through mens life...behave like its the norm
Developmental theorists-Freud built theory of psychosexual development around the
experiences of the male child that culminate in Oedipus complex.
o Considered the difference in womens development to be responsible for what he saw as
womens development failure
Tied the formation of the superego or conscience to castration anxiety
Freud considered women to be deprived by nature of the impetus for a clear cut oedipal
“for women the level of what is ethically normal is different from what it is in men”..Freud
concluded that women “show less sense of justice than men, that they are less ready to submit
to the great exigencies of life, that they are more often influenced in their judgements by
feelings of affection or hostility”
Early social environment differs and is experiences differently by male and female children, basic
differences recur in personality development..therefore feminine personality comes to define
itself in relation and connection to other ppl more than masculine personality does
Robert Stoller- gender indentify, the unchaning core of personality formation occurs around age
Given that for both sexes, the primary caretaker by age 3 is female, the interpersonal dynamics
of gender identity formation are different for boys and girls
o Females experience themselves as like their mother, fusing experience of attachment
with the process of identity formation
o Male development entails a more emphatic individuation and more defensive firming of
experienced ego boundaries
Chodorow- existence of sex differences in the early experiences of individuation and
relationship doesn’t mean that women have weaker ego boundaries then men or are more
prone to psychosis. It means instead that girls emerge from this period with a basis for empathy
built into their primary definition of self in a way that boys don’t
For boys/men, separation and individuation are critically tied to gender identity since separation
from the mother is essential for the development of masculinity.
For girls/women, femininity don’t depend on achievement of separation from the mother or
progress of individuation.femininity defined through attachment
Male gender identity is threatened by intimacy while female gender identity is threatened by
o Males have difficulty with relationships, females problems with individuation
Children games crucial of social development during school yrs. Learn to take the role of the
Janet lever considers peer group to be agent of socialization during elementary school yrs..set
out to discover whether there are sex diff in games that child plays
o Boys play outdoors more, more often in large and age hetero groups, more competitive,
last longer, boys enjoyed arguing while girls didn’t
From games they play, boys learn independence and organization skills necessary for
coordinating the activities of large and diverse groups of pplcompetition
Girls play in more smaller, intimate groupsmore cooperative
Erikson-adolescence is time when development hinges on identity, the girl arrives at this
juncture either psychologically at risk or with a different agenda
o Initial crisis in infancy of trust versus mistrust-experience of relationship
o Autonomy vs shame and doubt-seperateness and agency
o Initiative vs guilt
o Industry vs inferiority- competence become critical for selfesteem
Identity precede intimacy as male experience continues to define his life cycle conception
In fairy tales-sleeping beauty...heroines awake from sleep not to conquer the world but to marry
the prince, their identity is inwardly and interpersonally defined
David McClelland- sex role turns out to be one of the most important determinants of human
behaviour...psychologists have tended to regard male behaviour as the norm and female as
deviation from it
Piaget said boys in games are more concerned with rules, while girls with relationships
Mens social orientation is positional while womens is personal
Women not only define themselves in a context of human relationship but also judge
themselves in terms of their ability to care.
When the focus on individuation and individual achievement extends into adulthood and
maturity is equated with personal autonomy, concern with relationships appears as a weakness
of women rather than a human strength
Both Freud and Kohlberg based their studies on men and didn’t include women
Reconstruction of moral understanding is based not on the primacy and universality of
individual rights but rather on what she describes as a very strong sense of being responsible to
the world...moral dilemma changes from how to exercise ones rights without interfering with
the rights of others to how to lead a moral life which includes obligations to myself and my
family and ppl in general