The Psychodynamic Approach Gender Identity
Intro • The psychodynamic approach emphasises the importance of change and development in behaviours. It believes that this development is mainly driven by unconscious forces. • The most famous psychodynamic explanation is that of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and this can be used to explain Gender Development.
Key Points • Psychosexual stages • The first 2 stages are concerned with pleasure, gender is said to be flexible and there are no clear differences between boys and girls at all. • In the phallic stage the child becomes aware of the physical differences between male and female. The complexes that happen at this stage spark Gender Identity.
Oedipus Complex (BOYS) • Mother is the first love object. Therefore wish to possess their mother for themselves. • These lustful feelings lead the boy to view their father as a rival. • Boys also fear their father and the punishment he may bestow. Castration Anxiety
Electra Complex (GIRLS) • The same desire as boys is reversed in girls. • Father is the love object, however the resentment for mother is said to lie with penis envy. • A girl feels cheated that she has no penis, like the male of the species. • They substitute the desire for a penis with a desire for a baby.
Comparison • While boys fear aggression from their father, girls fear losing the love of their mother. Identification • The children resolve this conflict with the defence mechanism of identification with the same sex parent. • This is where the super-ego is developed.
Read the handout • Make notes on the process of identification. • Read the ‘Little Hans’ Case study. • Highlight the + and negative – evaluation points in two different colours.
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