VIEWS: 40 PAGES: 10 POSTED ON: 8/16/2012
COMPARING THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO GENDER DEVELOPMENT COMPARING THE LEARNING AND PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACHES Similarities: Both say that the environment af fects our gender development. Both say we identify with the same -sex parent and copy their behaviour COMPARING THE LEARNING AND PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACHES Dif ferences: The learning approach says that our gender identity develops throughout our lives, the psychodynamic approach says that it occurs from ages 3-6 during the oedipus/electra complexes. The psychodynamic approach says that progression through the developmental stages is a natural occurrence and that the environment af fects us dif ferently at each stage. The learning approach says that our nature has a minimal af fect on us and that the way that the environment af fects us is consistent throughout our lives. The psychodynamic approach uses case studies to support its theories whereas the learning approach uses lab studies, often done on animals. COMPARING THE LEARNING AND PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACHES AO2: An advantage of the learning approach is that it is more scientific than the psychodynamic approach. By focusing on behaviour, the learning approach can devise experiments to objectively observe what factors cause a change in behaviour in participants. With its focus on the unconscious, the psychodynamic approach cannot directly observe the factors that af fect gender development. An advantage of the psychodynamic approach is that it is less reductionist than the learning approach. The learning approach reduces all of our personality down to learnt reactions to environmental stimuli. The psychodynamic approach is more complex and considers how some parts of our personality are innate, how some are learnt, and how they interact. COMPARING THE LEARNING AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES Similarities Both approaches use laboratory studies to establish causal relationships and to isolate which factors (IVs) af fect which behaviours (DVs). The biological approach aims to see which hormones af fect which behaviours while the learning approach aims to see which environmental cues af fect which behaviours. Both approaches use animal studies. They believe that animals respond biologically (the biological approach) and learn (the learning approach) in the same way as humans, and so the results of their studies can generalise to humans. COMPARING THE LEARNING AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES Dif ferences: The biological approach says that our genes are mainly responsible for our behaviour and the learning approach says that our environment is mainly responsible. As well as using Laboratory studies, the biological approach also sometimes uses case studies of abnormal gender development, eg the case of David Reimer. The Learning approach is less likely to use case study evidence. COMPARING THE LEARNING AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES AO2: A strength of both approaches are that they are scientific. They both study material that can be objectively observed ( eg hormone levels, copying of a role model) and devise studies that can be replicated. Both approaches are weakened by their extreme positions at either end of the nature -nurture debate. Neither of them take into account how nature and nurture af fect each other. Eg a male might be naturally aggressive, but he can learn to behave in less aggressive ways if he is brought up in a calm environment. COMPARING THE PSYCHODYNAMIC AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES Similarities: Both focus on how our nature determines our gender development. The psychodynamic approach says that our libido naturally drives to go through the phallic stage of development. The biological approach says that our genes naturally determine our gender development. They both use case studies to examine gender development. This is the main research method of the psychodynamic approach (eg little Hans). The biological approach uses case studies in rare cases or where it would not be appropriate to conduct a laboratory experiment ( eg case of David Reimer) COMPARING THE PSYCHODYNAMIC AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES Dif ferences. The psychodynamic approach says that our parents greatly af fect our development by how they respond to us during the oedipus/electra complex. The biological approach says unless our parents are abusive and harm our physical development, they have little influence on our gender development. The biological approach is uses quantitative methods such as measuring the amount of testosterone present in the womb and seeing how this af fects development. The psychodynamic approach uses qualitative methods such as dream analysis to determine children’s true feelings about their parents. COMPARING THE PSYCHODYNAMIC AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES AO2: The biological approach is more scientific than the psychodynamic approach and so has the advantage that other researchers can replicate their studies to check their findings. However, by only using scientific methods, the biological approach never asks how people are feeling. By using non - scientific methods, the psychodynamic approach gets a more rounded view of how peoples emotions and interpersonal relations af fect their gender identity. A problem of both approaches is that they both say that gender identity is determined by a certain time (biological approach – in the womb; psychodynamic approach – age 6) and cannot change after that. Both approaches ignore the impact of the environment after these times.
"Comparing the different approaches to gender development"