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At the same time, people are affected by a range of factors that are specific to the cultural group in which they developed and within which they live.
Psychologists should always attempt to account for the ways in which culture affects thinking and behavior. Psychology is a discipline that evolved within a very specific cultural context.
Therefore, stereotypically male and female characteristics may be emphasised.
Suggest the impact that these research examples could have on society Freud and many of his followers believed that biological differences between men and women had major consequences for psychological development. Freud believed that gender divergence begins at the onset of the phallic stage, where the girl realises that she has no penis, and starts to feel inferior to boys (penis envy).
Penis envy becomes a major driving force in the girl’s mental life, and needs to be successfully sublimated into a desire for a husband and children if it is not to become pathological.
When explaining why twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression, adherents of the biomedical view tend to suggest that this is due to hormonal differences, and point to the existence of, for example, post-natal depression to show how fluctuations in female sex hormones can lead to abnormalities of mood.
Similarly, sex differences in hormonal processes can be used to explain the existence of disorders that are ‘gender bound’, such as pre-menstrual syndrome.