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Gender Differences & Similarities

There is more to the differences among (or rather between) genders than sexual organs. Yet, "since human biology appears to be the same today as it was in Greek times, so also the unconscious psychological dynamic of the human personality is similar" (Johnson 1989 ix). To prove his point of view, the author dips into myths. Basically, he distinguishes between Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and her replacement, in a sense the younger and human generation, Psyche. The author seems to be attempting to explain that every woman has an Aphrodite complex, feeling herself both loved and loving, but in the end resentful when someone younger and more beautiful comes along. Psyche, of course, as the author points out, has a task "to relate and soften the giant oceanic, archetypal feminine" (Johnson 1989 3).

In an attempt to make this epitome of femininity more "approachable" and, therefore, more humanly "lovable" one might therefore feel that masculinity is the exact opposite of this Aphrodite complex of the female gender. But, no, Johnson ascribes six "feminine" elements in a male: "His human motheraHis mother complexaHis mother archetypeaHis fair maidenaHis wife or partnera(and) Sophiaathe feminine side of God" (Johnson 1989 49-50). As the author points out, it comes as a shock to a Man to realize that wisdom is regarded as feminine, but it has been portrayed that way throughout history- real as well as mythological (p 50).

In trying to decipher the differences as well as similarities, one looks in vain for an equally description of the female's masculine characteristic. We only get a brief mention of "Eros as the woman's animus, her interior masculine side" (Johnson 1989 43).

Myths aside, much has happened since the publication of these two Johnson books. Mainly, the importance of gender has subsided somewhat. The feminine gender has made strides, professionally, into previously male-dominated areas. We have...

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Gender Differences & Similarities. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:16, August 09, 2020, from