Sex & Gender

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 2 Theoretical Perspectives on Sex and Gender WHAT WERE THE EARLIEST THEORIES ABOUT SEX AND GENDER? Theory : a testable set of ideas about how and why things happen Generate hypothesis (proposed explanation) that can be tested against observed reality Early theories shared idea of woman as incomplete/defective man Plato : early writings of equality between the sexes use female weakness and inferiority to justify assigning different gender social roles Aristotle : inferior woman as a defective man o Female state was an ordinary deformity- less soul heat so couldnt process menstrual blood to the final stage of semen (made no genetic contribution to embryo) Juan Huarte : women less intelligent because lack testicles o Testicles responsible for maintaining the heat and dryness characteristic of the male principle o Dryness of spirit necessary for intelligence View women as similar but differently developed, not opposites of men Often argued had similar bodies o Male uterus, female testicles, female reproductive organs were the males only inside- out (scrotum-uterus, penis-cervix and vagina) o Galen : eye of a mole = female genitalia Eyes appear same as other animals but cant see because remain closed as if still in uterus Female genitalia remains unopened and undeveloped after birth as if still in womb Males develop fully and project outward Later theories (pg. 99) Affected by early idea for generations: explain and justify what thought to be natural and inevitable solution o Aquinas , Freud By 19 th century: hierarchical approach opposites approach HOW HAVE PSYCHOANALYTIC/IDENTIFICATION THEORIES SHAPED OUR THINKING ABOUT HOW AND WHY GIRLS AND BOYS GROW UP THE WAY THEY DO? Psychoanalytic/identification theories : focus on personality development (pg. 71) SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1938): the father of psychoanalytic theory (the first theory of personality with sexuality as a central role) Human mind like a floating iceberg o Conscious : thoughts and feelings aware of o Unconscious : unacceptable urges, passions, ideas, and feelings cant acknowledge Contents can only be explored indirectly: dreams, free association, symptoms, mistakes (Freudian slips), or other leaks of the unconscious into conscious awareness Arose from symptoms without discernable physical cause (usually diagnosed as hysteria)- expression of feelings that otherwise couldnt acknowledge Cornerstone of Freudian theory b/c often the driving force behind conscious thoughts and behaviors But difficult to verify/disprove because cant observe...
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2010 for the course PSYC 3350 taught by Professor Catheysoutter during the Spring '08 term at SMU.

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CHAPTER 2 - CHAPTER 2 Theoretical Perspectives on Sex and...

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