Sex & Gender - Unit 2 (Freud Sigmund) Psychology

This document includes key definitions, biological difference between male/female, the psychodynamic explanation, ego-defence mechanisms, the oepdipus and electra complex, little hans key study and a brief evaluation of case studies.

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Sex & Gender ­ Unit Two ­ AQA GCSE Psychology
Sex ­ the biological aspects of the individual; for example, a child's sex is identified at
birth by its genitals
Sex identity ­ a biological status of being male or female.
Gender ­ the psychological and cultural aspects of maleness and femaleness
Gender identity ­ our sense of being male or female
Biological Differences:
Biological Difference Female Male
Chromosome Pairing XX XY
Gonads (Reproductive Ovaries Testes
Hormones More oestrogen & More androgens (including
progesterone testosterone)
Genitalia (External Sex Clitoris & Vagina Penis & Scrotum
The Psychodynamic Explanation
This theory was developed by Sigmund Freud as a result of his work with patients who
suffered paralysis, phobias or extreme anxiety without any apparent physical cause.
According to the theory there are three parts to our personality that develops as follows:
The id ­ contains our basic instincts and drives, is present at birth. It is concerned
only with immediate satisfaction of those desires. It works on the pleasure principle
(`I want').
The ego ­ starts to develop at around three years old, this is when we will begin to
understand that we can't always have what we want. We will begin to find realistic
and safe ways of satisfying our desires. It works on the reality principle (`Think about
The superego ­ this begins to develop at around six years old and is the moral part
of our personality. It is concerned with right and wrong in our behaviour. It has two

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It works as a whole on the morality principle
(`It is wrong to...').
Ego-Defence Mechanisms
The ego's role is to resolve the conflict between the urgent demands of the selfish id and
the restrains of the superego, this conflict is done unconsciously so we are not aware of it,
but, we will be aware of the anxiety it creates.…read more

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Ego-Defence Mechanisms'): he will
adopt his father's behaviours, speech and attitudes. This will reduce the threat from
his father and through identification with his father, the boy internalises male
characteristic and will in tunr, require his male identity.
Electra Complex ­ A girl will experience this specific complex. She will have
unconscious longings for her father, experiencing penis envy, yet she will fearthe loss
of her mother's love.…read more

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Hard to replicate as it is difficult to establish the reliability -Potential high researcher
bias…read more



A super summary of AQA's Unit 2 'Sex and Gender' module!

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