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Discuss Gender Bias in Psychological Theories

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Discuss Gender Bias in Psychological Theories Many theories in psychology either have shown a bias against women or have ignored women specifically preferring to assume that their development would be no different from men. First of these approaches is alpha bias: suggesting an enduring difference between genders, an example is Freud's psychosexual development theory. Second approach is beta bias, when theories ignore any possible differences between genders and does not present both genders equally. Freud's psychosexual development theory (alpha bias), represented women as being less morally mature than men, in that their superego were less developed and inferior because they do not have a penis (penis envy). ...read more.


He believed that men would reach at least stage 4 and women stages 2/3 making it alpha biased because of the difference between women and men. The difference between these stages is that one reflects social morality whereas the other reflects morality of personal relationships. This view was criticised by Gillighan who claimed women were not morally inferior to men but spoke in a different moral voice based on care and responsibility. She suggested Kohlberg had obtained his results because of abstract dilemmas used. But using real life dilemmas (abortion), women showed more moral development than men. Critics of Gillighans theory (i.e. Urger and Crowford) ...read more.


Many other theories in psychological have ignored differences between men and women. For example, the life span theories by Levinson & Erikson. The concentration on male development (male perspective) is an example of andocentric bias; this means inappropriate assumptions will be made from a biased sample. Questions about similarities and differences between genders are not just scientific questions but also political (role of women and men in today's society). The discovery of premenstrual syndrome has led to great deal of experimental research. Some psychologists have argued that many of the performance and mood difference traditionally identified between premenstrual women and poor research design. Several other studies claimed no differences. (Zeedyk and Baitt, 1999). ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephan Amaranath Psychology: Unit 5 ...read more.

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