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Adam Channel

10/30/07
Psych 33

Reaction to Chapters Seven and Eight


The focus of chapter seven was on relationships and chapter eight focused on

overcoming traditional gender roles. As usual the chapters operate by first identifying

problems typically encountered on the subject, and then inviting the reader to reflect on

their own experienced with said problems. One of the primary focuses of chapter seven

was healthy confrontation and anger management in relationships. While two people may

proudly exclaim “We’ve never been in a fight!” the book holds that that does not

necessarily mean that they don’t have problems. Depending on our past, we all have

different views of what conflict is; the book holds that most people try to avoid conflict.

Rather than simply avoiding conflict, we should discuss our issues with our partner and

try to resolve them. The meat and potatoes of the chapter is on how to hold a healthy

discussion, paraphrasing: we should truly listen to one another, suspend judgment and try

to forgive one another.

Chapter eight identified different cultural stereotypes of traditional gender roles,

and discussed how these can negatively impact our well-being. How men “supposed” to

be stoic, aloof, and silently provide for their family. How women “should” be

subservient, and passive and should always put family before their careers. The book

suggests that these gender roles, when defined too ridigly, and restrict a persons growth

and cause emotional turmoil throughout life. The book suggests that we search our self

and find a balance between our masculine and feminine qualities rather than only

exposing one half of our psyche.


Reflecting upon chapter seven, I found some applicable content within. Though I

don’t feel like I suffer much from the typical relationship problems listed, I do think that

being aware of these common detriments is beneficial to forging new relationships, and

validating previous ones. It’s easy to build emotional barriers between loved ones, we

may be afraid to reveal our selves as we really are for fear of rejection. Yet I think life is

only truly lived when we can freely express our selves, and be accepted by others in that

sincere form. The chapter made me want to tell my mom I love her or get closer to a

friend, we only have so long to live so we may as well live with love rather than hate.

I’ve never had too much trouble with gender identity, I’ve always felt the best of

both worlds. I love masculine activities, sports, competition, working on projects and

providing for others, but I also am comfortable with expressing my self effeminately. I

feel lucky that I am able to relate to both men and women and that I have many friends

from both genders. People often tell me that I am mentally androgynous and often I will

comfort my male friends in a feminine manner.