Gender Development And Differences From The Perspectives Of Psychology

1708 words - 7 pages

Outline the views of evolutionary psychologists, social constructionists and Freudiansregarding gender development and/or gender differences, and examine whether suchviews are complementary or competing.IntroductionWhat is to be a man or a woman? How do different perspectives of psychology view gender development and gender differences. This essay will be looking at the three perspectives on sex and gender. Then it will then go on to compare and contrast these views and explore the relationships among them.The Evolutionary PerspectiveThe evolutionary perspectives believe that sexual selection can explain sex differences. They argue that male and female behaviours are shaped by evolutionary factors. To promote successful reproduction, different characteristics and patterns of behaviours have developed in males and females. Females have a bigger investment in their offspring, and require the prolonged care in order for them to survive. A healthy and strong mate who can provide and protect herself and their children would ensure survival, making them more choosy in their mate and so less promiscuous than males. Males on the other hand are more promiscuous. He has a more extensive potential capacity to reproduce and increases his number of mating. Such behaviours would increase the chances of producing as many offspring as possible. Hence, his preference for young healthy females would be an effective reproduction strategy. Because of the competition for these more choosy females, males became larger and stronger in order to compete with other males for access to the females and also to win their approval. Evolutionary psychologists found that males are more likely to sleep with a stranger than females (Clarke and Hatfield, 1989). It can alsso be explained by the evolutionary reproductive strategy in males.Evolutionary psychologists also provide reasons on how a male or a female commits to each other. As an upright human due to evolutionary needs, the shape of pelvic girdle in the mother's womb has limited the size of an infant's brain. It infers that a mother has to take care of the child for long period until the infant brain has fully developed. By this requirement, female will look for a committed and caring mate with good social status and strong financial support.Because humans can mate anytime, a male would be more likely to bond with a female and guard her from other males to ensure any offspring are his. In modern times this behavior of guarding is seen as one of the lesser desirable trait of jealousy. (Buss ,1992)The Social Constructionist PerspectiveThe social constructionist perspective believes that human beings construct the world, and the issue of gender is the most prominent factor when constructing identities. People derive a sense of identity through belonging to groups, and the basic two groups of humans are male and female. Hence, starting from a very early age, people tend to identify with either group of sex. Social...

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