Psychodynamic explanations of gender development

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Psychodynamic explanations of gender development

Freud proposed that we move through a number of age-related stages

  • The first two stages are the oral stage and the anal stage -gender identity is said to be flexible and there is no differences between girls and boys as both seek pleasure though their mouth and ****

At the phallic stage understanding of gender begins to change and the child seeks pleasure from playing with his or her own genitals - they become aware of physical differences

The Oedipus complex

  • Develop a passionate desire for their own mother
  • Sees their father as a rival who stands in their way
  • Boys feelings go beyond jealousy - wish their father was dead
  • Fear their father and as a consequence they develop castration anxiety because they believe the father will find out about their desire
  • Boys recognise their father is more powerful than them, partly because they have a bigger penis

The Electra complex

  • Girls resent their mothers because they realise they do not have penises and they feel cheated because males have one. They believe they have…


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