I was recently cast as “Albin” in the musical La Cage Aux Folles and it has given me the unique opportunity to have to learn how to act more effeminate and to cross dress. As a psychologist who obsesses about the “psychology of everyday life” you can imagine how I’ve been thinking about what there is to learn from this experience. The show goes up in less than a week but I wanted to share my experiences thus far and talk about issues such as gender roles and why I think the movie (La Cage Aux Folles or the American version which is called “The Birdcage“) and the musical have been so popular.
A small number of men cross dress and many movies and broadway shows feature cross dressers (transvestites), so obviously many people find it fascinating and those who cross dress typically enjoy it. Why? What does it mean about the people who do it? I was recently cast as Albin/ZaZa in the musical version of the movie “La Cage Aux Folles” so I’ve been doing a lot it recently. I decided to take a closer look at cross dressing and see what psychologists think about it. Along the way, I’ll also look at some of the ways we determine how or if a behavior, thought or feeling is “abnormal”
Here are my notes for this episode in concept map form: Transvestism
Resources on Transvestism
How Do You Learn to Act Like a Man/Woman? Gender Identity and Gender Scripts
- Your Sexual Orientation – How Did It Develop?
- APA Stands Up for Transgender, Gender-Variant Individuals
- “NewlyHeather” – a crossdresser who has created a few very well done and very honest videos on YouTube answers the question: Are You Gay?
- “NewlyHeather” provides an excellent answer to the question: Why Do You Cross Dress?
- A Crazy Oculus Rift Hack Lets Men and Women Swap Bodies
Sex Blogs by Experts
Should we stop using “Guys” to refer to groups of women and mixed sex groups? Why do we (particularly men) refer to many objects – like cars and boats – as “she”? Are everyday foods actually “SuperNormal” foods – created to be absolutely irresistible and therefore causing us to be overweight? Is it okay to employ robots to care for our elderly? And finally, how come the ending of a movie can “ruin the whole thing” if it’s not a good ending? After all, you enjoyed most of the movie. In this episode I try to address these questions. We’ll talk about all these things in this episode of The Psych Files.
Bandit is one of a growing number of social robots designed to help humans in both hospitals and homes. There are robots that comfort lonely shut-ins, assist patients suffering from dementia, and help autistic kids learn how to interact with their human peers. – Falling in love with a bot
Are jail time and new laws the only answers to men’s violence against women, children, and other men? Or is there something every man can do to end these tragedies? In an earlier episode of The Psych Files in which I discussed Blaming the Victim, I talked about why there’s a tendency to blame victims and to overlook the Optimism Bias that we all share (particularly younger folks). But podcast listener and psychotherapist Jackie Henry felt that I didn’t go far enough in that episode, and she was right. We – especially men – need to think carefully about the way we talk about women in our everyday lives. Was that joke really funny? Or was it one of the small ingredients that eventually adds up to – or contributes to – the ongoing violence and lack of empathy that those with power express toward those without it. We take up this important issue in this episode of The Psych files.
We say to ourselves, ‘What can I do? I’m only one person. How can we change the system?’ I think you move through that and you realize that there are small things you can do. Once we work on the individual level eventually that’s how bigger things change – Jackie Henry
Do women who work in typically male dominated jobs “play down” their femininity in order to be gain more respect from their male co-workers?
In this episode we’ll explore stereotype threat (also known as stereotype vulnerability) as well as something you may not have heard of: the lipstick effect. How do men and women change their appearance or their behavior during times of economic depression? In this all-gender episode we look at these issues as well as why the new Volkswagen Beetle has changed its appearance. Yes, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle has become more masculine, but why?