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What is the psychodynamic theory of gender development?

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Presentation on theme: "What is the psychodynamic theory of gender development?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is the psychodynamic theory of gender development?
Lesson 2 – Sex and Gender Unit 2 – Understanding other people

2 Lesson objectives You will be able to;
Describe the psychodynamic theory of gender development. Describe a study to support the psychodynamic theory of gender development. Evaluate the psychodynamic theory of gender development.

3 Has anyone heard of Sigmund Freud?
What do you know about him? What did he do?

4 Freud The psychodynamic theory of gender development was first described by Sigmund Freud. He was working in Vienna in the late 1800’s using techniques such as hypnosis and dream analysis on patients who suffered from paralysis, phobias or extreme anxiety without any apparent physical cause.

5 Freud believed that personality develops in 3 parts;
Id – Present at birth, contains our basic instincts and drives. Its only concerned with satisfying these desires. It works on the ‘I want’ principle. Ego – Develops at about 3 yrs. old as we begin to understand we cant have everything we want. We find realistic and safe ways of satisfying our desires. It works on the ‘ Think about it’ principle. Superego – Develops at about 6 yrs. old and is the moral part of our personality. Its concerned with right and wrong. It has 2 parts – conscience and the egoideal. It works on the principle ‘it is wrong to…’

6 The ego is the link between the demands of the id and the constraints of the superego. The conflicts all occur in our unconscious but we are aware of the anxiety that the conflicts create. Freud prosed a number of ego-defence mechanisms to cope with the anxiety. Ego defence mechanism Explanation Displacement Transferring negative feelings toward something that will not harm us (i.e. shouting at someone who hasn’t done anything to us) Sublimation Channelling negative energies into an acceptable activity (i.e. sport – an aggression outlet) Identification Adopting and internalising the ideas and behaviours of another person.

7 Freud also believed that we developed (sexually) in 5 stages;
Oral stage – birth to 18 months. Anal stage – 18 months to 3 yrs. old. Phallic stage – 3 yrs. old – 6 yrs. old. Latency stage – 6 yrs. old – puberty. Genital stage – puberty onwards. Try and create a mnemonic to remember the stages of psychosexual development.

8 Phallic stage In the 3rd stage the child subconsciously sexually desires the opposite sex parent and is jealous of the same sex parent. In order to deal with these feeling and anxieties the child starts the behave like the same sex parent, this is known as identification. Freud believed that this process occurred differently in boys and girls.

9 Oedipus complex In the phallic stage a boys is unconsciously attracted to his mother and is jealous of his father and wants to take his place. He becomes anxious that his father will become aware of his feelings for his mother and will castrate him. He is therefore torn between his desire for his mother and his fear of his father. In order to deal with this anxiety and resolve the conflict he gives up his feelings for his mother and identifies with his father i.e. behaving like his father.

10 Freud (1909) – Little Hans Little Hans was a 5 yr. old boy with a phobia of Horses. Over several months the father wrote to Freud describing incidents and conversations that seems to be related to his fear. Hans told his father he imagined he was given a much larger penis and agreed with his father suggestion he wanted to be like his dad. Freud interpreted the letters in terms of the Oedipus complex. Freud proposed that the horse represented Hans father who he wished would leave or die. Hans was frightened his penis would be cut off and, according to Freud, this was linked with his fear of being bitten by the horse.

11 Case study evaluation Relies on parents memories – may not be accurate. Not a representative sample Did not study children directly Libido and identification are not directly observable – difficult to test theory. Ignores biological factors – genes and hormones.

12 Electra Complex In the phallic stage in a girl she is unconsciously attracted to her father and is jealous and resentful of her mother. She is worried that her mother will find out about the feelings she has for her father. According to Freud, the girl believes she has already been castrated and is not fearful like a boy but does feel conflict between her feelings for her father and losing her mother love. To resolve this she identifies with her mother and behaves like her.

13 Gender development in a lone parent household.
According to Freud, if a child is brought up in a lone parent household they will have a poorly developed gender identity as they don’t experience the oedipus / electra complexes. If a boy is raised without his father he will not develop a masculine gender identity as there is no father to identify with so he will be homosexual. Freud claimed boys raised without a father will have gender identity issues.

14 Carl – Rekers (1974) Case study.
Carl was an 8 yr. old boy who had a gender identity problem. He had a feminine voice and like to talk about make up and dresses and prefered to play with girls. He pretended to be ill or injured to avoid play with boys. Carl lived with his mother and did not have a stable father figure.

15 Reker and Moray (1990) To investigate whether there is a relationship between gender disturbance (not developing the gender identity usually associated with one’s sex) and family background. They researched 46 boys with gender disturbance for gender behaviour and gender identity as well as family background. Of the group 75% of the most severely gender disturbed did not have a stable father figure living with them. They concluded that boys who don’t have a father figure present during their childhood are more likely to develop problems with their gender identity.

16 Evaluation of the psychodynamic theory.
Freud's ideas are difficult to test are they are all based in the unconscious. There has been an increase in the number of single parent household but not an increase in the homosexual population. Little evidence to support the electra and oedipus complexes.

17 Plenary Produce a poster showing the key points of Psychodynamic theory of gender development. Include; Key terms Freud’s theory Summarise relevant research Criticisms of Freud's work.

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