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Culture & Gender. PSYCH 101 Prof. Gregg Fall, 2007. Reproduction of Mothering Nancy Chodorow. Revised Freud’s theory of psycho-sexual development: emphasized “pre-Oedipal” period (birth to about 3) Attachment & identification, not sexual attraction

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Culture & Gender

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Culture gender

Culture & Gender


Prof. Gregg

Fall, 2007

Reproduction of mothering nancy chodorow

Reproduction of MotheringNancy Chodorow

  • Revised Freud’s theory of psycho-sexual development: emphasized “pre-Oedipal” period (birth to about 3)

  • Attachment & identification, not sexual attraction

  • Both M & F begin “as if” female: develop “feminine” sense of self in experiencing world with & through mother

Reproduction of mothering nancy chodorow1

Reproduction of MotheringNancy Chodorow

  • Females: develop by continuity -- sustaining identification with mother

  • Males: develop by discontinuity -- separating from mother and creating new identity

     Misogyny: “masculinity” created via repression / expulsion of “feminine”

In a different voice carol gilligan

In A Different VoiceCarol Gilligan

Gilligan research

Gilligan: Research

  • Student of Lawrence Kohlberg: children’s development of moral reasoning

  • Investigated differences in men’s and women’s reasoning about moral dilemmas

Lawrence kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg

  • Investigated children’s moral development

  • Inspired by Piaget’s stage theory

  • Devised moral dilemmas

  • Categorized not answer to dilemma, but form of reasoning

Kohlberg moral dilemma

Kohlberg moral 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 ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $4,000 for a small dose of the drug.

Kohlberg moral dilemma1

Kohlberg moral dilemma

The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, 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 the druggist said, "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from if." So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.

Kohlberg stages of moral development

Kohlberg Stages of Moral Development




In a different voice

In a Different Voice

  • Men: conflicts of rights

    value autonomous perspective

    universal judgments

  • Women: competing responsibilities

    value maintenance of relationships

    relativistic judgments

Gilligan s theory of ethics

Gilligan’s theory of Ethics

  • Men: Ethic of autonomy

  • Women:Ethic of care

In a different voice1

In a Different Voice

  • Men’s sense of self based on separation & autonomy – live by universal principles

  • Enter adulthood prepared for independent, competitive action

  • Poorly prepared for intimacy & nurturance

In a different voice2

In a Different Voice

  • Women’s sense of self based on building & sustaining empathic ties – weaver of relationships

  • Poorly prepared for competitive achievement

  • Fear success will cost them personal relationships

In a different voice3

In a Different Voice

Is Gilligan an essentialist or a constructivist?

Male – female differences fundamental or socialized?

Will women carry ethic of care into male world, or become like men?

Culture child rearing

Culture & Child-Rearing

John whiting

John Whiting

Child-Training & Personality

Child-Training & Male Development

Child training personality

Child-Training & Personality

Child Training


(indulgence or frustration)


(myth & ritual)

Child training personality1

Child-Training & Personality

  • Indep. Variable:fixation

    (indulgence or frustration)

    Five areas:oral, anal, sexual,

    dependence, aggression

  • Dep. Variable:illness explanations

Child training and personality

Initial Indulgence

Age of Training



2nd lowest

2nd earliest weaning

upper quartile


3rd lowest

2nd earliest

most severe (tied)



among earliest

most severe (tied)


slightly below median

slightly earlier than median

at median


near median

near median

slightly above median

Child Training and Personality

U.S. vs. 72 non-Western cultures – early 1950s

Child training personality2

Child Training & Personality

  • Oral:ingestion

    verbal spells & incantations

  • Anal:defecation, feces, urine, etc.

    carelessness with excretions

    charms, curses, spells, incantations

    failure to perform ritual

Child training and personality1

Child Training and Personality

  • Sexual:sexual behavior

    sexual excretions

    menstrual blood

  • Dependence:soul loss

    spirit possession

Child training personality3

Child Training & Personality

  • Aggression:aggressive wishes

    disobedience to spirits


    magical weapons

Child training and personailty

Child Training and Personailty

  • Found: negative fixation (frustration) statistically associated with illness explanations

Robert levine

Robert LeVine

Child-Rearing Studies

In Kenya & West Africa

Kenya ethnic groups gusii

Kenya ethnic groupsGusii

Ecology and infant care

Ecology and Infant Care

  • Pre-industrial: “pediatric” models

    high infant-mortality

    protect & nurture

  • Modern: “pedagogic” models

    survival assumed

    prepare for school & achievement

Pediatric vs pedagogic models

High Infant Mortality

Infant on mother’s body; nursing on demand; co-sleeping

Seeks quiet baby: dampen excitement

Low infant mortality

Separation alternating with high interaction

Seeks responsive baby: elicit excitement

Pediatric vs. Pedagogic Models

Mothering behavior

Mothering Behavior

Objectives of mothering

Objectives of Mothering

  • Pediatric (pre-industrial):

    minimize caloric expenditure

    foundation of life-long attachment

  • Pedagogic (modern):

    elicit interest & engagement in world

    prepare for school & achievement

    prepare to separate from family

Whiting s theory of male gender development

Whiting’s Theory of (Male) Gender Development

Sling vs cradle cultures

Sling vs. Cradle Cultures

  • Slings:warmer climates

  • Cradles:colder climates

Gusii kenya

Gusii (Kenya)



Native american

Native American

Native american1

Native American

Native american2

Native American

Culture gender

Dark: cradle

White: sling

Sling vs cradle cultures1

Sling vs. Cradle Cultures

  • Sling cultures:

    • “cross-gender” identity conflict

    • resolved via masculinizing ritual

  • Cradle cultures:

    • “dependency” conflict

    • resolved via solitary vision quest & guardian spirit (Native America)

Whiting theory of masculine development

Whiting theory of Masculine Development

  • Long exclusive mother-infant co-sleeping leads to…

     Stronger “feminine” identification

     Greater need for “masculinizing” ritual

     Puberty rituals with genital mutilation

    • Excising “femaleness”

    • Creating “male” bodies & persons

Manhood in the making david gilmore

Manhood in the MakingDavid Gilmore

  • Provides world tour of cultures, showing great range of “masculinity”

  • Adopts version of Chodorow – Whiting theory of masculine development

  • Adds: importance of warrior role

Manhood in the making

Manhood in the Making

  • Truk: drinking and brawling to prove


  • Sambia: ritual bleeding de-feminizes

    fellatio masculinizes

  • Tahiti & Semai: greater gender equality

    and androgyny

Gilmore theory

Gilmore Theory


  • Basis in “symbiotic” mothering & early “feminine” identification (Chodorow & Whiting)


  • Harsh environment & scarce resources = greater warrioring

     rejection of “femininity”

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