Applied Project:

Mapping the Threefold Self in Gender Relationships

By Suzanne Howard

 

Instructions for this report may be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy20/g20lecturenotes409b.htm

 

1.  Preface

 

            My first report entitled, Annotated Bibliography, is about gender and relationships.  I have summarized ten articles and have discussed three important points from each article.  I also give my opinions about each article.  Some of these articles are about how men and women talk differently.  Some are about the differences between men and women as proposed by Emanuel Swedenborg.  Others are about the New Church’s (followers of the Writings of Swedenborg) stance on men and women’s relationships.

 

            Report 1 has given me enough information to make an informed decision about my position on gender relationships.  In it, I have discussed whether the “unity” model of gender relationships will have a significant influence on relationships in our society and how it will have an affect on my future gender relationships.  I have concluded in Report 1 that if the concept of a “unity” relationship is to be understood and practiced, the couple can be truly happy in their relationship.  However, I do not think that the concepts of gender relationships proposed by Swedenborg will be widely accepted by the public because they are difficult to understand and even more difficult to accept because they oppose commonly held beliefs of many men and women.  Another reason why I do not think Swedenborg’s concepts will catch on in our society is because a “unity” relationship is restricted to only a man and a woman.  Therefore, homosexuals will be disqualified from entering in to a unity relationship.  Many people will not accept a belief that disqualifies a group of people and tells them that they will never be fully human because they cannot be in a marriage relationship with a person of the opposite sex.

 

            In this report, Report 2, I have used my own data to make new conclusions about gender relationships.  This report was very personal for me.  In it I discuss my own personal gender relationship.  At first, it was very difficult for me to do this.  Now I am glad that I have gone through this process.   It has helped me to realize many important things about that relationship that I had not noticed before.  It has also made me think more about how I view gender relationships in general.  I have a greater understanding of what is important to me and what I am looking for in future gender relationships.

 

2.  Introduction: Self-witnessing and the Threefold Self

 

            The threefold self is probably the most important theme of this report and also of this entire course.  The three levels of the threefold self are sensorimotor (actions), cognition (thoughts), and affective (feelings and motivations).  All of these levels are interconnected.  For example, you cannot say something (sensorimotor), without feeling like saying it or being motivated to say it (affective), and then thinking about saying it (cognitive).

           

            The levels of the threefold self correspond to the levels of gender relationships. The first level in gender relationships is the dominance or traditional level.  On this level, partners have external unity, involving sensorimotor achievement without there necessarily being internal agreement.  Women tend to experience this initial phase as unsatisfactory, whereas men tend to be comfortable with this level of relationship.  The second level in gender relationships is equity.  This level involves how the partners think and reason, what they consider acceptable or unacceptable, what information or knowledge they posses, and what are their philosophies on life and religion.  When a man and woman reach this level, they can enrich and stimulate each others thoughts.  The relationship can become more meaningful and more satisfying.  The third level of relationships is called unity.  This level involves the conjunction of the partners’ feelings and motivations.  At this inmost level, the couple is protective and supportive of each other’s feelings, wishes, and needs.

 

 

Chart of the Three Models in Gender Relations

 

 

LEVEL OF UNITY

NAME OF MODEL

THREEFOLD SELF INVOLVED
IN THE RELATIONSHIP

3

UNITY

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

2

EQUITY

COGNITIVE
(internal)

1

DOMINANCE

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

 

 

            Self-witnessing refers to the observation of the self.  In regards to this report, self-witnessing means that one observes one’s own sensorimotor self, cognitive self, and affective self.  Because this report involves gender relationships, such as dating and marriage, the observations must apply to the couple as a unit and not just the individual in the relationship.  For example, when observing the sensorimotor aspects of the relationship, one can watch what the couple does together.  When studying the cognitive aspect of the relationship, one can observe what the couple thinks and if they agree on definitions and beliefs.  In regards to the affective part of the threefold self, what do the partners feel and what are they motivated to do, and most significantly, are they willing to make their partner the most important thing in their life?

 

The following reports are examples from the Generational Curriculum about self-witnessing and the threefold self:

 

Customizing my Emotional Spin Cycle: Data Collection and Analysis    by: Mine 1 (Generation 16)     http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2002/mine1/report%202.htm

 

The author of this report says that it is important to know the elements of the threefold self.  She says that you need to know that you can have both positive or negative feelings in regard to actions, thoughts, and feelings.   She says that the using the “bridge technique” can help someone consciously turn a negative situation in to a more positive one.  The author has used four types of media to observe whether the bridge technique would have been useful in certain circumstances.  The author concluded that if the media characters would have used the bridge technique, there could have been a much more positive outcome.  This data collection technique is not exactly like self-witnessing, but there are similarities.  In this report, the author records and analyzes the actions, thoughts, and feelings of the media characters.  This is very similar to self-witnessing in which one observes the same characteristics of themselves and of their romantic relationship.

 

The Developmental Processes in Learning the Internet   by: Bliss (Generation 17)

http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2002/bliss/research.htm

 

This report examines the experiences of the author as well as previous generations of students who were learning about the internet.  The author has used the threefold self model in analyzing the actions, thoughts, and feelings of herself as well as the other students.  This student explained her reactions to the difficult task of trying to learn how to use the internet and also noted the reactions of other students.  I think that it is important to allow others to read about the problems that the students were having when trying to learn the internet.  Students need to know that they are not alone when they are having difficulties with the material at hand.  I think that this report is also helpful to future generations because the author gives tips on how to use the internet that come directly from her personal experiences.  This report shows that self-witnessing can be used not only in documenting experiences in gender relationships but also in the topic of learning the internet.

 

My Emotional Spin Cycle – The Four Options and the Two Bridges: Annotated Bibliography     by: Latte (Generation 16) http//:www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2002/latte/report%201.htm

 

            The author of this report says that everyone experiences either a negative or a positive daily emotional spin cycle in which their emotions take a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  Someone who is said to have emotional intelligence has the ability to turn their negative emotions in to positive ones.  The author recognizes that the three aspects of the threefold self work in conjunction with each other, however, she states that they can be separated by using the four options and the bridge technique.  The four options are: negative feelings about the world, positive feelings about the world, negative feelings about the self, and positive feelings about the self.  A bridge can be formed from a negative emotion to a positive one.  The author has chosen different articles and makes observations in regard to the threefold self.

           

 

Now, I will briefly discuss my experiment for this report.  I have used the self-witnessing method to identify the levels of the threefold self that are at play in a previous gender relationship that I have personally been in. 

 

3.  My Experiment

 

(a) Design of my experiment

           

            The purpose of this report is to improve my relationship awareness and skills.  I have used the elements of the threefold self and the three types of gender relationships to help me to understand a past gender relationship. My most reliable source of data came from a journal that I had written in everyday during my first semester of college.  I had to write a page per day for an introductory English class at the University of Hawaii.  The teacher did not read our journals so I decided that I should put information that was not only relevant to my life but also very important to me.  One very important part of my life during that time period was my relationship with my now ex-boyfriend.  I feel that I should give a brief history of our relationship up to that point in time so you can understand what was going on then.  I am sharing with you this very personal information in order to give an accurate description of this relationship.

 

            I met Nick when I was in the last couple months of high school through a mutual friend.  We started dating immediately and our relationship became very intense very quickly.  We had a wonderful summer together, and then I started going to UH.  We spent a lot of time together and he even lived in my dorm room during certain periods of my freshman year.  We had a lot of bad fights, but also a lot of good times.  We dated for three years and broke up quite recently.  We have a lot of differences, and we also do not even live in the same state any more because he joined the military.  We still talk to each other and love each other.  Maybe, in a couple of years we will give it another try.  Who knows?

 

 

(b)  Data

 

Journal Data

 

In this section, I will describe each event in relation to the threefold self: sensorimotor (actions), cognitive (thoughts), and affective (feelings).

 

(9-20-01)

I slept at my boyfriend Nick’s house because my computer was not working.  His computer was not working very well either, and I had to retype my paper three times.  He made me breakfast and then came over to my dorm room to help me fix my computer.

·        Sensorimotor: He made me breakfast and went all the way with me to my dorm to help me set up my computer.

·        Cognitive: I think that he took my feelings in to account and thought that I would feel better if he helped me.

·        Affective:  He felt bad for me because his computer did not work for me.  He wanted to make me feel better by helping me to fix my computer.

 

(9-29-01)

Nick and I got in to a fight today because he wanted to go to the bank today (Saturday).  I told him to call the bank and see if they were even open today before he walked all the way there.  We both got upset with each other and hung up the phone.  After a while, I felt bad and decided I wanted to pick him up.  I drove first to his house and then along the routes that he would take to the bank.  I saw him walking along the street and I pulled over.  He jumped in my car and told me that he was so happy to see me.

·        Sensorimotor: I made the effort to go and see him even though I did not know where he was or if I would even find him.

·        Cognitive: I did not want to fight with him about such a small thing, so I thought that I should try and find him to talk about it.

·        Affective: I felt bad that I had contributed to our fight.  I wanted to smooth things over between us.  I think that he felt very happy to see me, and he knew that our fight was over.

 

(10-9-01)

I wanted to go back to my dorm room because our friend’s dorm room was too hot.  Nick did not want to go.  He got mad, but finally decided to go with me.  When we got to my room he was still mad at me, so he left.  He called me later to talk about it.  We decided to break up because we fought over such insignificant things.  (The breakup lasted one day.)

·        Sensorimotor: I wanted him to come with me to my room.  Even though I did not beg him to come with me, he finally decided to come.   Later, he called me because we were fighting.

·        Cognitive: He did not think about my feelings when he decided not to come with me.  He should have recognized that I was uncomfortably hot, and he should have willingly come with me to my room.

·        Affective: I was so upset with him because he did not consider my feelings.  I wanted to break up with him because I was sick of fighting so much.

 

(10-18-01)

Nick had told me about a reoccurring dream that he had been having since years before he had even met me.  In it, you see the top of a girl’s head.  Now he said that you can see her face, and it was me.  I was amazed.  He said that he had the dreams because we are soul mates.  I told him that I knew that we had a good relationship, but I did not know if we were soul mates.  He broke up with me because I was “unsure about the relationship.”  (The breakup lasted one day.)

·        Sensorimotor: He told me about the dream.  I told him that I did not know if we were soul mates.

·        Cognitive: I am not sure if he was lying or telling the truth about having dreams.  He might have lied as a way to make me think that we are soul mates.  If he was telling the truth, then I think that the dream shows that we are soul mates.

·        Affective: I felt unsure about whether or not to believe him about the dreams because it seemed impossible for him to have seen me in a dream before we had even met.  I did not want to tell him that I was sure that we were soul mates.  He became upset with me because I did not want to say that we were soul mates, because he thought that meant that I was unsure about our relationship.

 

(10-21-01)

Nick and I dyed each other’s hair blue and went to a concert.  We were with each other all day and did not fight.  We both had a really great time.

·        Sensorimotor: We did many activities with each other this day, including dying hair, going to the concert, and later falling asleep together.

·        Cognitive: I think that the day went so well because we both wanted to go to the concert and have fun.  In other words, we were thinking the same thing.  We both had the same plan for the day.

·        Affective: I think that because we were both doing activities that we love, we were happy and did not need to fight about anything.

 

(11-4-01)

We went shopping together at Goodwill thrift store.  I picked out some shirts for him that he liked.  Because he did not have any money, I bought them for him.

·        Sensorimotor: I picked out the shirts and bought them for him.

·        Cognitive: I was not trying to control what he wears; I just thought that he would like the shirts.  He had told me before that he likes my taste.

·        Affective: I was trying to make him happy by picking out something nice for him.  I also think that the clothes that I pick out for him make him look good.  Other people have also given him compliments on clothes that I have picked out for him.  It makes me feel good because he is happy to have the shirts.

 

(11-10-01)

Nick and I both went to a party together.  We both decided it was not fun, and we left to go to my room and spend time with each other.

·        Sensorimotor: We went to the party together, and we both left together.

·        Cognitive: We both went to the party thinking that we were going to have a good time.  However, when we got there we both thought that we have more fun if we left the party.

·        Affective: As well as our thoughts and actions, our feelings were also in sync with each other’s.  We felt that we would be happier if we left the party.

 

(11-14-01)

I was mad at Nick because he drank the last few of my beers in the fridge.  He told me that he would come with my friends and I to play tennis with us.

·        Sensorimotor: He offered to come and join me in an activity that he does not like but I do.

·        Cognitive: He took my feelings into account.  He knew that I would love him to come with me and play tennis even if he did not know how.

·        Affective:  He came because he knew that he had upset me and probably felt bad about it.  He knew that it would make me very happy to join me in a tennis game.

 

(11-15-01)

Nick got mad at me because I wanted to be friends with the person that I had cheated on him with a few months earlier.  I got mad because earlier he had told me that I would not mind if I talked to the person.

·        Sensorimotor: I wanted to talk to the person that I had cheated on my boyfriend with.  Nick told me that I could not do that.

·        Cognitive: I thought that Nick was ok with me talking to the person. 

·        Affective: I was made at him for telling me what to do.  I felt bad for cheating, but I did not want to have to stop being friends with the other person.  Now that I look back at the situation, I think that I was being naïve and not caring if I hurt Nick’s feelings.  I think that it is impossible to be friends with someone that you have cheated on someone else with and not hurt your partner’s feelings.

 

(11-20-01)

Nick called me and told me to come over to his house.  I told him that I could not because I had too much homework.  Then, I decided that I missed him too much and went over to his house anyway.

·        Sensorimotor: First, Nick called me and asked me to come over.  I told him no.  Eventually, I did go over to his house.

·        Cognitive: I think that I changed my mind and went over to his house because I could not stop thinking about him.  I thought that it was sweet that he wanted to spend time with me.

·        Affective: He was sharing his feelings with me when he told me that he wanted to spend time with me.  I missed him so much that I decided that I needed to go over to his house regardless of the fact that I had a lot of homework.

 

(11-21-01)

Nick got mad at me because I asked him not to tell his brother’s (girl) friends that he had a girlfriend. 

·        Sensorimotor: I asked him not to tell his brother’s girl friend that he was dating me.  He asked me why, and I told him my reasons.

·        Cognitive:  I wanted to see the girls flirt with him and not be able to get him.  I was that sure of our relationship, and I trusted him completely.

·        Affective: I asked him to do this because I wanted to feel reassured about our relationship.  I also wanted to feel like I was special because I was the only girl who could be with him.  He was upset with me because he could not understand why I was making this request of him.

 

(11-22-01)

Nick and I got in to a fight because I wanted us to go to a friend’s house, and he did not want to go.  He finally decided to go with me, but when we go to the house he decided that he was going to walk home.  I went to the door, but no one was home.  I picked Nick up as he was walking down the street.  We fought for a long time.  I admitted that I was wrong, and we finally feel asleep together.

·        Sensorimotor: Nick finally came with me to my friend’s house, but then he left to walk home.  I picked him up and we went to his house together.

·        Cognitive: I wanted him to come with me because I wanted to spend time with him as well as with my other friends. 

·        Affective: I was upset with him because he never wants to go out and do anything.  I was sick of just sitting on his couch and watching movies.  I do not think he took my feelings in to consideration when he got upset because I wanted to get out of the house and do something.  Even though I felt that I was wrong then and told him that I was sorry, now as I look back I do not think I was wrong.

 

(11-23-01)

I was going to be busy all day, and I told Nick that I was not going to be able to see him.  However, I was at the mechanic shop across from his work, and I called him and told him where I was and also that I was running late.  Then, I see him run around the corner and jump over some bushes just to come and see me.

·        Sensorimotor: Nick made an effort to come and see me for just a minute because he knew that he would not see me for the rest of the day.

·        Cognitive: I was surprised that he came to see me.  I thought it was really cute that he ran all the way across the street to see me for a minute while he was working.

·        Affective: I felt so loved because he had been so sweet to me.  I was very happy, and I felt that I had a very caring boyfriend.

 

(11-24-01)

Nick called me and told me that he needed me to come over to his house right away.  When I got over there, he said that there was no urgent reason for me to come over and he had lied because he just wanted to see me.

·        Sensorimotor: Nick called me to come over, and I came over.

·        Cognitive: I came over because I thought there was an important reason why he asked me to come. 

·        Affective: When I found out that there was nothing important and that he just wanted to see me, I was not mad at him.  I thought that it was very sweet that he would make up an excuse just to be able to see me.

 

(12-1-01)

Nick was talking to someone about the people I had dated before him.  He became upset and knew that it was not a normal reaction to be upset just because your girlfriend has had boyfriends before you.  He told me that he felt that he was not normal for thinking this way, and that he did not understand normal people.  I had to be home so there was no way that we could not talk about it in person, but I told him to call my phone.  He did not call before I went to sleep, so I turned my phone off.  In the morning, I turned on my phone and I had three messages from Nick.

·        Sensorimotor: He shared with me his very personal feelings.  He also called me throughout the night, and said that he could not sleep.

·        Cognitive: I thought that it was very hard for him to tell me such personal thoughts.  I wanted to help him deal with his feelings and let him know that I was there to support him.

·        Affective: I felt much closer to him as a result of him telling me his personal thoughts.  Because I loved him so much, I wanted to help him cope with his sad feelings.

 

Threefold Self Inventory

 

In this section, I will use the list of observations of the threefold self given in the instructions for this report.  These self-witnessing areas will be divided in to the three sections of the three fold self.

 

Dominance or Control Areas (Sensorimotor Self)

 

·        Generally, when my ex-boyfriend and I watched TV, the person who sits down first is the one who controls the TV remote.  Usually, if we watched TV at his house he picked what to watch, and if we watched TV at my house then I picked what to watch.  Also, if one of us really wanted to watch something, the other will usually change the channel to that program for them.  However, when we watched movies, my boyfriend usually controlled the remote because I did not know how to work the DVD player.

 

·        When my boyfriend and I went to the video rental store, I usually had the last say in what movies we were going to watch because I would usually be the one paying for them.  We had different tastes in movies, but we could usually agree on something even if it was neither of our first picks.

 

·        We did not go out to restaurants that often because neither of us had too much money, however, when we would go we would always agree on what restaurant to go to.

 

·        We usually like the way each other dresses and grooms themselves.  If I told him that his outfit did not look good on him, he would most likely take my comment in to consideration and change his clothes.  I always told him that he was a very good looking person and the most beautiful person that I had ever seen.  He was very different.  Although he never complained about my wardrobe, he also never commented on my clothes.  He rarely would tell me that I was beautiful and even sometimes “joke” that I was fat. Needless to say, that really hurt my feelings.

 

·        My boyfriend had a problem interacting with other people.  People usually found him inappropriate in the situations that he was in.  For example, he was not aloud to hang out with one group of my friends.  I would tell him things that he was doing wrong so I could try and help him fit in better.  He listened to my suggestions and his behavior has improved over time.  I think he really appreciated my commentaries on his behavior.

 

·        We talked much more in the beginning of our relationship than toward the end.  In the beginning of our relationship, he talked a lot more about what he was thinking and feeling.  It made me feel close to him because he was comfortable enough with me to share his feelings.  I, on the other hand, was comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings with him throughout the relationship.

 

Negotiation Areas (Cognitive Self) 

 

·        I do not think that either of us thought that the other was trying to control us.  We did disagree on many things, but I think that neither he nor I tried to control or dominate the other.

 

·        I do not think that both of us contributed to the relationship equally.  I contributed much more to our relationship, and I think Nick knows that.  I paid for both of us almost every time we went out together to do something.  I also would buy him things like beer and cigarettes almost every night.  It upset me that he would never pay for me or even pay for his own thing.  I felt like he was taking advantage of me at the time and in retrospect, I am sure he was.

 

·        I think Nick was much more stubborn than I was when it came to changing our ways.  I would try to explain to him why it was important to do something and he would stick to his own beliefs even if I told him why they were flawed.  For example, I wanted to get our cat spayed, but he told me that it was cruel and that we should not do that to her.  I explained to him that it was not cruel and that it was actually healthier for her.  Despite this information, he continued to stick with his flawed beliefs.

 

·        Nick and I have many different opinions.  I found some of his beliefs very interesting, and always wanted to learn more about why he felt the way he did.  However, I do not think that he was as interested in learning about my opinions as I was about his.  He rarely asked what I thought about a particular issue or topic.

 

·        We did not seriously disagree about to many important issues.  We both wanted to have a fair amount of money to live a decent life together.  We both wanted to get married and have children together.

 

·        We did disagree about god.  When we first met, I believed in god and went to church on a weekly basis, whereas he did not believe in god.  Later on, he started to believe in god and became interested in Christianity.  However, at that point, I still believed in god, but I no longer believed in religion.

 

·        Nick and I were not too intellectually influenced by each other.  I was in college, whereas he did not even finish high school, but did get his General Education Diploma (GED).  I always felt that I knew much more about scholastic information than he did.  He knew a lot of other interesting information though.  He has read a lot of books and got me interested in the kind of books that he reads.

 

Trust and Mutual Dependence (Affective Self)

 

·        I always seemed to remember important relationship things better than he did.  I always remembered our anniversary and wanted to make it a special day for both of us. I do not think he cared about those things too much, even though he knew it was important to me.  For example, one year he did not even get me a birthday present.  He said it was because he had no money, but he could have made me something or even planned a special day that did not involve money.

 

·        I think that we both thought our relationship was very important.  However, we knew that we were very young and still needed to do things for ourselves.  For example, I went away to go to school on the mainland for a year.  He decided to join the Army, even though he knew we would not be able to see each other for a very long time.

 

·        I think I was much more committed to the idea of total unity than Nick was.  I always felt free to talk about any topic with him.  I always tried to understand where he was coming from when we were having and argument.  I also worked on changing things about myself that he did not like.  Nick on the other hand did not try to do these things.  He did not try to understand my point of view when we were arguing.  Also, he did not try and work on the things that I told him really hurt and upset me.

 

(c) Analysis and Discussion

 

            My observations have helped me to obtain a greater understanding of the level of my relationship.  I would classify my relationship as an equity relationship even though the relationship does not easily fit in to this distinct category.  From my journal entries, it seems that many times there was no understanding and would seem more like a dominance relationship.  At other times, it seems as if there was perfect understanding and respect and more like a unity relationship.  However, overall, I think that it would fit best in to the category of an equity relationship.

           

            There are three levels of unity in gender relationships ordered from external to internal unity.  These levels correspond to the levels of the threefold self.  For example, the first level of unity involves the sensorimotor self.  This level is external because even though the partners participate in the same activities, they do not necessarily agree with each other’s thoughts and feelings.  The Doctrine of the Wife says that men are more comfortable with the first level of sensorimotor unity.  Women are not completely satisfied until they have reached the unity level of relationships.  I agree with this statement and can testify to it from first hand experience.  I think that my relationship did not have the elements of a unity relationship.  If it did, I think that I would have been much happier and we would probably not have ended the relationship.

 

            According to the principle in gender relationships called the conjoint self, the perfect unification of a gender relationship increase with the differentiation and reciprocity of the two partners.  These two principles come from the model of conjugial love described by Emanuel Swedenborg.  The first principle, called differentiation, means that no part of a woman is like any part of a man and vice versa.  Men and women are different in many ways including anatomy, cognitive activity, and in their feelings and motivations.  The second principle, called reciprocity, says that the perfect unity of the couple increases with the diversity of the partners.  Even though the partners are different, they complement each other and form a complete unity together.  I think my ex-boyfriend and I were very different form each other, however, our differences did not complement each other.

 

            I think that our relationship was stuck at the equity stage because my ex-boyfriend wanted it to be that way.  I was not happy there because I did not feel as close to him as I wanted to be.  In the very beginning of our relationship, we got a taste of what a unity relationship could be like.  I wanted our relationship to be like it was in the beginning when we were both very happy.  I could tell that he did not want to get too close to me.  He would not share his feelings with me like he used to.  He was not willing to change things about himself that I needed him to change.  It seemed that he did care about me as much as a cared about him.  He did not think of me as the most important thing in his life, and that is why our relationship eventually ended.

 

            I think that gender relationships are a product of many factors, including biology, culture, and socialization.  Men and women are genetically different from each other in many ways.  Numerous studies have shown that men and women do many things differently, such as thinking and talking.  We cannot deny the biological differences between the sexes, but we also need to recognize that social interactions significantly help to create gender differences.  Social factors such as interactions between family and friends create gender roles for men and women.  For example, in many households, the daughters are expected to cook the meals and clean the house, whereas the sons are expected to do the yard work and take out the trash.  These stereotyped behaviors stick with us through childhood and in to adolescence where gender relationships start to form.

 

            I think that most people in our modern society would feel that an equity relationship would be the highest level of intimacy.  They think that sharing in all of the responsibilities is a characteristic of a good relationship.  I also think the equity model is a good type of relationship.  I do not think that a man should have any greater degree of control over a woman, nor do I feel that a woman should have control over a man.  However, I do find problems with this type of relationship that would be resolved in the unity model.  For instance, in the equity model, men do not try and change their hurtful behaviors to help their wives become happier.  This change occurs only in the unity model.  However, I am not convinced that husbands should always listen to their wives, as proposed in the unity model of gender relationships.  I think that an ideal relationship would have equal input from the husband and the wife in regards to decision making.  I also think that both the husband and the wife should change some of their behaviors that are hurtful to their partner.

 

4.  Conclusion

 

            Through the research that I have done for this project, I have gained more knowledge about the threefold self and the types of gender relationships.  I have learned that the model of gender relationships and the model of the threefold self coincide with each other.  It was important for me to first learn about the three types of gender relationships - dominance, equity, and unity – before I could begin to understand my own gender relationships.

 

            It was important for me to have empirical data to base my observations about gender relationships on.  I could look back at specific events from my journal and make conclusions about my past relationship.  There were many different interactions with my ex-boyfriend that I had noted in my journal.  Some events made me feel very sad and some made me feel very happy.  Overall, I could consider that relationship to be most like the equity model.  I think that it is important to recognize what type of relationship that you have in order to understand what you need to work on to make it better.

 

            My views about gender relationships have changed somewhat since the beginning of this course.  At first, I thought that equity relationships were the best possible kind of relationship.  I did not even think that unity relationships were possible because it seems so unlikely that a man in our society would give up so much of his power to his wife.  Now I think that there are many good things about a unity relationship, and I believe that a husband and wife can be very happy in one.  However, there are some things that I do not agree with.  For example, it seems impossible that a couple would never fight or argue about anything, which is a characteristic of the unity model.  Also, I do not think that a man or a woman should have more power over the other in a romantic relationship.  I also still believe that unity relationships will not occur frequently because I think that there are very few men today that would give up so much of their power to their wives.  I currently think that the best kind of relationship would take some elements from the equity model and some from the unity model.

 

5.  Future Generations

 

            I think that there is much more research that can be done on the topic of gender relationships by the future generations.  Because our class was the first to do research on gender relationships, it would be important to get more data from other classes.  I think an interesting project for future generations would be to read the data from other classes and specify what kind of relationship category they would best fit in to.  It would be interesting to see if the relationships are labeled the same by my generation (the authors) as it would be by other students.

 

            I still have the same advice for future generations as I did in my first report.  Read all of the assigned material so you will understand what the class presentations and lectures are all about.  Class discussions will give you a chance to ask questions.  Take notes in class because they will be useful while writing your papers.  Most importantly, remember to have a positive bias!  Remember that Dr. James is not trying to force you into believing the course material.  The positive bias means that you should not dismiss the concepts as soon as you learn them.  Rather, understand that what you are being taught is quite possibly the truth.

 

 

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