An individual’s identity development, including his or her preferred gender identity, is a lifelong process, which starts with the earliest interactions with the world. The concepts of gender identity have been explored, studied, debated, and discussed for decades and are currently going through a resurgence of examination, especially in Western cultures. This chapter provides an overview of gender identity development, beginning with an explanation of terms, followed by an exploration of theoretical perspectives which includes cognitive developmental theory, social learning theory, gender schema theory and feminist theory. Topics include current research and perspectives on how gender identity evolves in children and recent shifts in understanding atypical gender identities, including transgender, gender neutral, and gender fluid identification. Finally, implications and strategies for mental health professionals are discussed, especially related to counseling those who are experiencing conflict or distress surrounding issues of gender and gender identity.
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One of the most important findings from the original battered woman syndrome (BWS) research was the existence of a three-phase cycle of violence that could be described and measured through careful questioning of the battered woman. This chapter describes the cycle, updates it by adding information from the courtship period, and divides the third phase into several different sections where appropriate so that there may not be any loving contrition or even respites from the abuse at times during the relationship. Teaching the woman how her perception of tension and danger rises to an acute battering incident after which she experiences feelings of relief and then gets seduced back into the relationship by the batterer’s loving behavior, often similar to what she experienced during the courtship period, has been found to be helpful in breaking the cycle of violence that keeps the woman in the relationship.Source:
Many developmental models view human growth from a space of lack or abundance, a perpetual fulcrum swinging from the word survive at one end to thrive at the other. This chapter discusses Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory of human development to conceptualize female adolescent and young adult development. The contextual focus of this theory provides a global framework for counselors to view young women as individuals who both influence, and are influenced by, their surroundings. Customs, beliefs, and the government all play a role in the development of children and adolescents. When young females overcome the stigma associated with mental health services, they typically seek treatment in one of two primary settings: community mental health centers and schools. Relational-cultural theory (RCT) is an evolving feminist model of human development that views connection to others as essential to growth and disconnection as a major cause of disrupted functioning.
- Go to article: Sexual Teen Dating Violence Victimization: Associations With Sexual Risk Behaviors Among U.S. High School Students
Sexual Teen Dating Violence Victimization: Associations With Sexual Risk Behaviors Among U.S. High School Students
Adolescent dating violence may lead to adverse health behaviors. We examined associations between sexual teen dating violence victimization (TDVV) and sexual risk behaviors among U.S. high school students using 2013 and 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey data (combined n = 29,346). Sex-stratified logistic regression models were used to estimate these associations among students who had dated or gone out with someone during the past 12 months (n = 20,093). Among these students, 10.5% experienced sexual TDVV. Sexual TDVV was positively associated with sexual intercourse before age 13, four or more lifetime sexual partners, current sexual activity, alcohol or drug use before last sexual intercourse, and no pregnancy prevention during last sexual intercourse. Given significant findings among both sexes, it is valuable for dating violence prevention efforts to target both female and male students.Source:
- Go to article: Attachment Styles, Alcohol, and Childhood Experiences of Abuse: An Analysis of Physical Violence in Dating Couples
Attachment Styles, Alcohol, and Childhood Experiences of Abuse: An Analysis of Physical Violence in Dating Couples
This study examined individual and partner characteristics that contribute to the propensity for physical violence in couples. In a sample of 171 heterosexual dating couples, each partner completed measures assessing experienced childhood abuse, alcohol use, alcohol expectancies, attachment, and relationship length. Physically violent men reported more abuse from each parent, greater alcohol use, anxious attachment, and a longer relationship. Their female partner reported more childhood abuse by the father and reciprocal perpetrated violence. Physically violent women reported more abuse from the father, greater alcohol use, aggressive alcohol expectancies, and a longer relationship. Their male partner reported greater abuse from the mother, greater alcohol use, and reciprocal perpetrated violence. This study demonstrates the importance of considering how each individual’s characteristics within a dyad contribute to increased propensity for dating violence.Source:
This chapter describes many of the theories that involve taxonomies. Most taxonomies of love begin in the same place: The language of love is examined, whether through an examination of film, literature, music, or firsthand accounts of people about their love life. The three primary love styles are eros, storge, and ludus. Eros is a passionate kind of love that is characterized by strong emotions and intense physical longing for the loved one. With storge, should the lovers break up, there is a greater chance than with other love styles that they remain friends. Ludus commonly is displayed by people who prefer to remain single and who see love as a game of conquest and numbers. A pragmatic lover hesitates to commit to a relationship until he or she feels confident of finding the right partner. The different love styles also correlate with some other personality traits.Source:
This chapter describes the current trends toward greater gender equality in couple relationships, what keeps old patterns of gendered power alive, and why equality is so important for successful relationships. Relationship vignettes like the ones just described are common. Sharing family and outside work more equitably is only part of the gender-equality story. Gender ideologies are replicated in the way men and women communicate with each other and influence the kind of emotional and relational symptoms men and women present in therapy. Stereotypic gender patterns and power differences between partners work against the shared worlds and egalitarian ideals that women and men increasingly seek. The concept of relationship equality rests on the ideology of equality articulated in philosophical, legal, psychological, and social standards present today in American and world cultures. The four dimensions of the relationship equality model are relative status, attention to the other, accommodation patterns, and well-being.
This chapter explores the relationship between gender and power. Gendered power in couple relationships arises from a social context that has given men power over women for centuries. When practitioners fail to take account of social context, however, they may run the risk of inadvertently pathologizing clients for legitimate responses to oppressive experiences. The term gender is a socially created concept that consists of expectations, characteristics, and behaviors that members of a culture consider appropriate for males or females. Consequently, an individual’s ideas about gender may feel deeply personal even though they are a product of social relationships and structures. Strong social forces work to keep social power structures, including gender inequality, in place. The continued presence of gendered power structures in economic, social, and political institutions still limits how far many couples can move toward equality. Today, ideals of equality compete with the institutional practices that maintain gender inequality.
This chapter examines the cultural and relational contexts of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating, multidimensional mental health problem that affects 10"-15” of new mothers and has serious consequences for women, children, families, and marriages. Although women’s experience of postpartum depression has been the subject of considerable recent study, nearly all of this work has been interpreted within a medical or psychological frame. The chapter looks at a social constructionist lens to this body of research through a meta-data-analysis of recent qualitative studies of PPD. Though hormonal changes as a result of childbirth are related to depressive symptoms after childbirth, biological explanations alone cannot explain postpartum depression. A social constructionist approach to postpartum depression focuses on how the condition arises in the context of ongoing interpersonal and societal interaction. Climbing out of postpartum depression is an interpersonal experience that requires reconnection with others.
One of the most trying aspects of training professionals to work with couples using solution-focused therapy is expecting professionals to go slowly and to develop a connection with their couples before moving on. In fact, the therapist is working to uncover the positive aspects of the couple’s life, and how they were living before their problem. Lipchik calls this process listening with a constructive ear probing for evidence of strengths, resources, and past success, learning what life was like before or without the problem, what the clients want, or anything at all that can be reinforced as a positive aspect of the client’s lives going forward. Every couple comes from a past when the relationship was working much better. The therapist listens for clues about how the relationship was built to understand what worked in the past and continues to work today.