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Women and territory

Psychology: Women and Territory

Basic psychology is the attempt to explain and understand significant issues in human behavior which can shed light on popular misconceptions. Desmond Morris and Naomi Weisstein explore two different psychological areas that are misunderstood by the public and some psychologists.

"The invading army encroaching on national territory, the gang moving into a rival district, the trespasser climbing into an orchard, the burglar breaking into a house, the bully pushing to the front of a queue, the driver trying to steal a parking space, all of these intruders are liable to be met with resistance varying from the vigorous to the savagely violent"(P.256,257)

These are all examples of the various ways in which people can violate someone's territory. The violation of a boundary can have serious consequences. For instance, a gang uses visual stimuli such as graffiti to illustrate a marked territory. The unreadable words to the average person mean nothing. A rival gang member may ignore these symbols of territory and hence, put their life in jeopardy.

Territory is not just environmental, but it is also bodily. A person creates an imaginary bubble around them. This is considered their personal space. Some people are allowed into the bubble while strangers usually must stay outside. The bubble varies from culture to culture. A person in Europe will stand closer to a friend than an American would. The odd feeling that Americans experience in foreign countries when talking to local people is a common misunderstood concept.

Naomi Weisstein's article Psychology Constructs the Female, explains the various misunderstanding that male psychologist have towards females. One the prominent psychologists of the sixties, Erik Erikson, explained his biased opinions that women primary function is the being a mother. "We must start with the realization that, as much as women want to be good scientists or engineers, they want first and foremost to be womanly companions of men and to be mothers"(P.178). Erikson is using his

own personal beliefs instead of scientific data to misinterpret the role of women.

Psychology has always been a good source for clearing up misconceptions about human behavior. When the theories of psychologist are wrong, the truth will prevail. Morris and Weisstein both tap into areas of psychology that explain behavior and correct misunderstood notions.

Source: Essay UK -

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