Freud’s Personality Theory The development of gender roles in deifferent forms of feminsm gives us a revealing overview of Freud’s personality theory. It is relatively easy, however, to find oneself torn between openheartedly going along with Freud’s view of personality as a dynamic system of psychological energy is a very complex, yet insightful approach to the development of personality. The nature of the id, ego, and superego, and the psychosexual stages that these three structures focus on during a course of one’s development, give a plethora of reasons to believe in the existence of a critical period in gender development. Freud’s theory suggests that the way in which the id, ego, and superego evolve and the way in which they proliferate in the first six years of a child’s life will influence the child’s emotional attachment to her/his parent of the same sex and, as consequence, the child’s gender identification. It is not Freud’s belief about the id, ego, and superego that raises our eyebrow, but rather his rigid sex-based generalization of gender development.

However, Freud’s generalization seems to underestimate the impact of genetics and broader social cues, and to overestimate children’s cognitive capabilities during the maturing stage and the impact of the child-parent relationship on children’s gender development.