English 24


Notes on Carol Gilliganís

In a Different Voice

            Nancy Chodorow--feminine personality defines itself in relation and connection to other people more than masculine personality does.

            Gender identity is firmly established by the time a child is around three.

            Girls establish their gender identity through attachment and identification with their mothers.

            Boys establish their gender identity through separation and individuation from their mothers.

            Erikson defines adolescence as the fifth stage of psychosocial development.

            At this stage the adolescent forms a coherent sense of self and verifies identity.

            Erikson believes that females hold their identity in abeyance so that they can attract a man by whose name she will be known, by whose status she will be defined.

            For men, identity formation precedes intimacy; for women identity formation and intimacy are fused.

Women's Roles


            Females identify themselves in relation and connection to others; males identify themselves in terms of how they are separate and different from others.

Relationships versus Individuation

            Games help to teach children rules and respect for others.  Games also teach children how rules are made and how they can be changed.

            Girls like to play games in which they "take turns," in dyads, and when a disagreement occurs in a girls' game, they generally stop the game.

            Boys play competitive games in group situations, and when a disagreement occurs, boys fight it out.

            To girls, the relationship with a friend takes precedence over winning a game.  To boys, winning is everything.

            Girls have a perceived conflict between femininity and success.

Women tend to be more concerned about the opinion of others.

Last updated on March 6, 2001