The Passage Of A Woman 's Body Is The Woman Essay

1206 Words Sep 9th, 2016 5 Pages
The passage begins with a quote from Ambrose Bierce, stating, “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.”(Bierce). This quote reflects the misogynistic views that psychology was not immune to. Even one of the most popular psychologists, Sigmund Freud, believed in the theory of “anatomy is destiny”, or that our physical bodies influence our motivations and personal development and suit our gender roles (i.e. women can be mothers but not scholars). Stanley Hall and Edward Clarke shared views that women were “too frail” to withstand the rigor of higher education and should reserve their energy for home life and child-bearing. In 1873, Clarke wrote a book titled “Sex in Education” which outlined that blood flow to the brain that was required to support studying was actually diverted into the ovaries and uterus in order to “preserve reproductive health”. Many psychologists of the time believed that motherhood was a women’s ultimate fulfillment and any woman who strayed from that path would live a sad and empty life. When women began to study psychology, many dedicated their studies to refuting the old fashioned and inaccurate idea that women’s bodies limit their abilities. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Karen Horney and Clara Thomspon critiqued the idea of “anatomy is destiny” which had been introduced by Freud; they specified the importance of socioculture and environmental influences on personality and behavior.…

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