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.

Category: Social Issues