SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Blazina, C. (2001). Part objects, infantile fantasies, and intrapsychic boundaries: An object relations perspective on male difficulties with intimacy. Journal of Men's Studies, 10(1), 89–98.

Learning Objective: Application of theoretical constructs of object relation theories to a concrete example of issues in intimacy

Summary: The author defines male intimacy issues in terms of object relations theory. It is suggested that the process of disidentification, which requires boys to give up their connection with their primary object (mother) and identify with their father, often leads to issues in sustaining intimate relationships. The mechanism of this process is explained in more detail, in relation to part object and infantile fantasies, and suggestions for treatment are proposed.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is disidentification? What does it mean that it is normative but sometimes unhealthy?
  2. What is the influence of part objects on adults?
  3. What are the positive and negative sides of psychological separateness?


Article 2: Nagoshi, J. L., & Brzuzy, S. (2010). Transgender theory: Embodying research and practice. Affilia, 25(4), 431–443.

Learning Objective: Understanding the development of transgender theory and its relation to social constructivism.

Summary: The authors describe the main points of transgender theory and its concepts of gender. Transgender theory is based on social constructivism, as opposed to essentialism and its somewhat deterministic ideas. Transgender theory, along with feminist and queer theories, liberates sexuality and provides the basis for working against social oppression.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Which characteristics of transgenderism signal the fluidity of gender?
  2. How is gender conceptualized in essentialism, and how is it conceptualized in social constructivism?
  3. To which of the aforementioned theories (essentialism, social constructivism, and transgender theory) is your own conceptualization of gender closest? Explain.


Article 3: Peplau, L. A. (2003). Human sexuality: How do men and women differ? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(2), 37–40.

Learning Objective: Understanding how gender differences in sexuality are measured and generally manifested in the present time—in the sexuality of our contemporaries

Summary: The author summarizes the most important research on gender differences regarding sexual desire, relationship commitment, sexuality and aggression, and the fluidity of sexuality. Also, the limitations of these studies are tackled, along with implications for understanding sexuality.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How are the findings described in this article related to the evolutionary theory of sexuality?
  2. What has changed from the sexuality of our ancestors to nowadays, and what remains the same?
  3. What are the implications of the finding that similar gender patterns are found for hetero- and homosexuals?