Carol Gilligan's Human Development Theory

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As baby boys and girls age it is not difficult to notice not only physical differences, but differences in behavior and interaction with others. The psychological development process differs in males and females, yet many male psychologists measure developmental success based off of scales tailored for male psychological development, leaving mature women being labeled as ‘underdeveloped’. In “Women’s place in a man’s life cycle”, published in 1979, psychologist Carol Gilligan challenges the developmental theories proposed by Sigmund Freud, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Erik Erikson that label women as developmental failures, underdeveloped morally, and incapable of handling the crisis of forming an identity unless giving to her by a man. Gilligan …show more content…
Gilligan’s compilation of many androcentric theories and comparing them to the behavior of women showed how biased the world of psychology is. Since many current theories only measure one gender precisely, an area of improvement for psychology is to create a more diverse group of models, including the addition of gynocentric scales to the psychologist’s toolbox to accurately measure women. Further research in this topic would be to construct study of women that would resulting a feminine moral development scale, stages of crisis that do not attribute the development of women to be dependent on men, and creating a professional success model that includes the strengths of caring for others instead of asking women to curtail their emotions and enhance their sex appeal. On the individual level, Gilligan describes the developmental paths that start differentiating at age three due to the relationship with the primary caregiver, the mother. I am curious whether having a male as the primary care giver would lead boys and girls to have the opposite reactions as described in the study, letting boys relate more closely to a male caregiver to form more emotional attachments and girls to distance themselves from a male caregiver to form more of an attitude of individuality. This could help families determine a balance of maternal and paternal affection to result in children they find to be suitably balanced in emotion and independence. If the drift toward emotional attachment and individuality is based solely on age, it is still important knowledge for any parent, teacher, or profession that deals with children. All will need to know how to supply different care and tasks to children based on their gender, letting them indulge in their desires of independence or attachment. The implications of developmental differences between

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