Gender stereotyping is alive and well, it seems.
And the odd part is that it appears to be a good screen for assessing human behavior:Boys come to understand and define their gender and identity by leaving their mothers. Boys are taught that they are not just like mother and in fact, must be different than mother to be boys. They detach to find their masculine identity.
Girls on the other hand, are taught to identify with their mother and as they mature, they develop deep attachments to their mothers (Harvard psychologist Carol Gilligan, author of In A Different Voice discusses these issues and the role biology plays in the moral development of children).
As we noted, feminine identity is most easily recognized by attachment and relating to mother (or maternal figures). Detachment for women is a much more difficult exercise. Masculine identity has it’s origins in detachment from mother. That detachment comes relatively easily for healthy boys. On the other hand, that encouragement to detach leaves boys with a lesser ability to relate. For better or worse, these are the issues that help define gender identity.
What do you think?