Peso RateWeatherPhilippines Time


The predominantly vulnerable areas among the male patients have to do with their passive, feminine wishes, their tenuous controls over their aggressive instincts and their ambivalence towards success. As with the women patients, these same critical areas, when properly handled, give the individual in the culture his main source of self-esteem. Thus, the Filipino male is one who is self-assured to the point of smugness, about his masculinity. He regards as pure jest the occasional potshots directed against his masculine armor. His mastery of his aggressive impulses renders him a virtuoso in the art of “smooth interpersonal relations.” Should he explode in violence, it is because he is forced to, in defense of his manliness, a justification which is accepted by all. He is generous and gracious in his success; in failure, the culture is generous and gracious in helping him save face.

Sexual Problems

The rough categorization of women patients in the preceding section, according to relative degrees of dependency and autonomy, does not lend itself well in exploring their sexual problems. There seemed to be no clear or wide differences in this area in the two groups of patients.

The only palpable difference was in the degree of repression. With the more autonomous woman, there was more awareness of her sexual needs, a greater readiness to discuss them, and a likelihood to look for solutions to sexual problems. The dependent woman invoked frequently the accepted cultural norms and practices which favored more extensive sexual repression. The autonomous woman might read Masters and Johnson and Fanny Hill in her search for answers; the dependent type, regardless of education, never came to direct grips with sexual problems. The curious finding, however, was that despite these differences, the problems were similar and the degree of success of coping mechanisms hardly differed in the two groups.

Separations From The Loved Oject

For many women, single or married, the event which brought the greatest emotional suffering was separation from the loved object. Separation is used here in its literal as well as in its broadest sense. Geographical separation lasting for months or over a year was a major contributing factor to many severe depressions. In others, the separation was a psychological one, e.g., leaving behind the parents in order to get married, or feeling abandoned upon discover that the husband was interested in another woman, or when the children have grown up and have become independent. Although the fear of death was an overriding theme in many, death itself as an event did not emerge as an important agent in emotional upheavals. (Perhaps this is because it is so final and offers no alternative of reunion unlike separation.) Death of a loved one was taken relatively well if there had been transitions to other substitutive love relationships or if previous ones were still available. Death of a husband for example was taken well, provided there were children, parents, and siblings to adequately fill the emotional void. Those who had unconsciously treated the husband like a parent, becoming greatly dependent on him, felt completely lost at his death and the resulting reactive depression dragged on for years. In the relatively fewer cases where death of a parent figured in the start of the emotional upheaval, it was related to guilt over failing him.

The Autonomous Women

In this category I placed the female patients who, despite having sympromatologies and psychological conflicts similar to those of the preceding group, exhibited ego strengths in many other areas anti coped with their difficulties in a different way. Thus, the patient was likely to be holding a job or managing a business. She made decisions at home or at work without difficulty. Her emotional struggle, however, followed a similar trend up to a point, as was found in the more dependent type of woman. She was not prone to fold up in a depressive reaction. Harassed by private anxieties, beset by frustrating interpersonal conflicts like her more dependent sister, she, however, fought to establish a separate self-image even at the price of an emotional breakdown.

Analysis of their background revealed a number of factors which may be contributory to this difference in psychological makeup. Firstly, there was the absence of a “little-girl” image in relationship with mother. Secondly, father tended to be a more positive figure that had a direct hand in helping her and her siblings make decisions as they were growing up. There was a definite pattern of the women in this group to be either the oldest in the family or among the daughters, or to be the only girl, or the father’s favorite.

Women Dependency Problems

The great majority of female patients enjoyed with the mother a uniquely close relationship, approximating that of a symbiosis. I use the word uniquely to indicate that this closeness is exceedingly more than that which is ordinarily observed, in this and other cultures, in mother-daughter relationships. It could not be called a ital symbiotic one because the daughter was not singled out by the mother as her exclusive source of gratification. She had similar relationships with other daughters in the family. The patient also had other relationships which gave her some amount of gratification. However, mother and daughter were first and rather special in each other’s list of affectional ties. This was true across all ages, from adolescent patients to those in late menopause. If the mother was no longer alive, the memory of this close relationship exerted similar impact on the patient’s psychological life.



Copyright © 2023 Living In The Philippines. All Rights Reserved.