Sex Role Development as a Function of Parent Models and Oedipal Fixation

Samuel Juni, Eileen Lazaroff Rahamim, Robert Brannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sex role development is analyzed from the psychoanalytic and social learning perspectives. The process according to Freudian theory is seen as deriving from an internalization of characteristics of the same-sex parent, coupled with an effort to contrast oneself from the opposite-sex parent. These dynamics for sex-role differentiation are prominent mainly during the oedipal phase and are effected through the mechanism of identification. Social learning theory posits that modeling parents’ behavior is the primary source of sex role development. This study investigated the correlations between sex role and the hypothesized precursors of parents’ sex roles and oedipal fixation by asking 49 men and 81 women, who had taken the Rorschach, to complete the Bem Sex Role Inventory and also to use the inventory to describe their fathers and mothers. The Rorschachs were then content scored for psychosexual fixation areas. Results confirmed the psychoanalytic contingency of sex role and oedipal fixation for women only, while the modeling hypothesis linking sex role to parents’ characteristics was confirmed for men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Volume146
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1985

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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