From John Wayne to Tootsie

The Masculine Struggle with Psychological Integration
  • Richard M. Zuckerberg


The ideas and evidence presented here are both timeless and timely. In fact, much of what is to be said here has the ring of familiarity in spite of years of change. Whenever it was that man first began to explore his outer world, and his inner nature, one of his first discoveries clearly must have been that his own kind was divided into two sexes, that there was man and woman. What we are seeing in contemporary society is the continuing evaluation of man and woman, reflecting our ongoing search and fascination with the image of who we are, and how we are related to each other, as man and woman. Perpetually, the fact that emerges to catch our attention is how we, as man and woman, are both similar and different. We acknowledge our similarity on the basis of our shared biological fate as Homo sapiens, but also we see ourselves as divided into two groups on the basis of our sex. At a psychological level, we too share a common fate as human beings, and yet, as man and woman, our fates seem to possess the character of both convergence and divergence. This fact of our oneness and separateness was articulated early in the history of the recording of our ideas. In the work of the ancient Greeks, most notably Plato’s “Symposium,” we are informed that the “original nature of man was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, having a name corresponding to that double nature, which once had a real existence, but is now lost... androgynous” (1952, p. 157). Plato goes on to tell us that “man was then split into two by the Gods to teach them a lesson of humility in their divided state. And, because of the original unity of man’s nature, the humbled state of living only a part of his existence as a piece of this whole, there is a primordial hunger in each of us, a constant yearning to re-unite this divided self” (p. 158).


Paternal Involvement Feminine Gender Masculine Behavior Psychological Androgyny Psychological Integration 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Zuckerberg
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Brooklyn Institute for PsychotherapyBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Kingsbrook Jewish Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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