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Cinderella Complex: Theoretical Roots to Psychological Dependency Syndrome in Women

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Abstract

Women’s dependency has been a widely debated topic around the world. Back in the 60s-80s, women were limited to their household chores, child rearing practices and were financially dependent on men, and the concept of women dependency on men was phenomenological and acceptable. But when 90s arrived with the drive of women empowerment; women education flourished, they became financially independent and balanced work and personal lives. The concept of women dependency then started confusion and displease among the “new independent women”. This theoretical article aims to elaborate on the concept of women dependence and its background. Cinderella Complex is a psychological syndrome that states women are unconsciously driven to be dependent on a dominant figure (preferably male). Relational Theory in relation to Cinderella complex marks distinction in emotional development of men and women. It states that women are primarily driven to connect with others.

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... The girl trained to become dependent is unable to get rid of this dependence she used to comfort when she grew up (Dowling, 1998) and thinks that the way to protect this "comfort" is only possible with a male savior (Saha and Safri, 2016). The concept of the Cinderella complex, used by Dowling (1998) to describe this situation as the basis of psychological dependence in women, is a psychological syndrome in which women are in the need of protection from a dominant figure (preferably male) without awareness (Saha & Safri, 2016). ...
... The girl trained to become dependent is unable to get rid of this dependence she used to comfort when she grew up (Dowling, 1998) and thinks that the way to protect this "comfort" is only possible with a male savior (Saha and Safri, 2016). The concept of the Cinderella complex, used by Dowling (1998) to describe this situation as the basis of psychological dependence in women, is a psychological syndrome in which women are in the need of protection from a dominant figure (preferably male) without awareness (Saha & Safri, 2016). ...
... Through this theme, a woman is said to be patient and moral in order to overcome difficulties, and be should wait for the day in which a man will come for her as a reward for her patience. In order to be perceived as virtuous, a woman should be compliant, attractive, faithful, and sexually "clean" (Saha & Safri, 2016). Cinderella is depicted as a helpless, passive victim who needs protection. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cinderella syndrome is a concept which is used to define woman who fear from being independent. Women with Cinderella syndrome are in the need of men’s refuge and protection. The syndrome is like a psychological dependence for women and in this dependence, situation being patient and moral is important for being rescued by a man as a reward. In the syndrome women expect a man to come and take control of their own lives so that they can live happily. The aim of the study developing a scale into Turkish culture to determine the level of Cinderella Syndrome in females. The Cinderella Syndrome Scale is a 5-point Likert Type scale which includes 25 items. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to define construct validity and three factors were determined, called “sexist attitude”, “escape from responsibility” and “quitting career”. According to EFA, three factors describe 54,69 % of the variance. Results of EFA were validated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The Cronbach’s alpha was found as .94 for the total scale.
... The girl trained to become dependent is unable to get rid of this dependence she used to comfort when she grew up (Dowling, 1998) and thinks that the way to protect this "comfort" is only possible with a male savior (Saha and Safri, 2016). The concept of the Cinderella complex, used by Dowling (1998) to describe this situation as the basis of psychological dependence in women, is a psychological syndrome in which women are in the need of protection from a dominant figure (preferably male) without awareness (Saha & Safri, 2016). ...
... The girl trained to become dependent is unable to get rid of this dependence she used to comfort when she grew up (Dowling, 1998) and thinks that the way to protect this "comfort" is only possible with a male savior (Saha and Safri, 2016). The concept of the Cinderella complex, used by Dowling (1998) to describe this situation as the basis of psychological dependence in women, is a psychological syndrome in which women are in the need of protection from a dominant figure (preferably male) without awareness (Saha & Safri, 2016). ...
... Through this theme, a woman is said to be patient and moral in order to overcome difficulties, and be should wait for the day in which a man will come for her as a reward for her patience. In order to be perceived as virtuous, a woman should be compliant, attractive, faithful, and sexually "clean" (Saha & Safri, 2016). Cinderella is depicted as a helpless, passive victim who needs protection. ...
Article
Cinderella syndrome is a concept which is used to define woman who fear from being independent. Women with Cinderella syndrome are in the need of men’s refuge and protection. The syndrome is like a psychological dependence for women and in this dependence, situation being patient and moral is important for being rescued by a man as a reward. In the syndrome women expect a man to come and take control of their own lives so that they can live happily. The aim of the study developing a scale into Turkish culture to determine the level of Cinderella Syndrome in females. The Cinderella Syndrome Scale is a 5-point Likert Type scale which includes 25 items. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to define construct validity and three factors were determined, called “sexist attitude”, “escape from responsibility” and “quitting career”. According to EFA, three factors describe 54,69 % of the variance. Results of EFA were validated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The Cronbach’s alpha was found as .94 for the total scale.
... Women have been told since the dawn of time that they must support men emotionally and financially. Usually, patriarchal society persuades women that this system was founded for their comfort (Saha and Safri, 2016). Women, on the other hand, are at risk of losing their selfconfidence due to their low sense of status. ...
Article
Full-text available
Women's dependency has been a widely debated topic all over the world. A woman is always expected to do only what is appropriate in contemporary society since infancy, and they are not prepared for independence or self-sufficiency from the moment they are born. The idea of female dependency began to cause confusion and discontent among the “new independent women”. The fear of being independent then termed as the Cinderella Complex. Cinderella Complex refers to the fear of being independent, causes unconscious desire to be taken care of by others (C. Dowling, 1981). Here the investigator planned to go through the studies conducted in India as well as outside to have a deep understanding on the concept of Cinderella Complex, its dimensions, method of study, related concepts, implications etc. The investigators used meta-analysis as the method for approaching the problem. Six studies which met the inclusion criteria were selected for this study. Findings of the study show that it is interpreted that women having high scores in Cinderella Complex are bound to show negative motivation towards personal growth. Furthermore, an interventional approach is being developed to motivate and train young women towards personal growth. KEYWORDS: Cinderella complex, Meta-analysis, Women, Dependency
... After women gained more empowerment and support to be independent in the 90s, the concept stirred perplexity and irritation among women (Saha and Safri, 2016). They did a small experiment by gathering 100-140 Indian women of various ages and statuses. ...
Article
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Cyber literature has been academically recognized in literary studies through multiple research studies. Cyber literature is manifested in various cyberspace, both maintained individually and professionally. Writing platforms on the internet, such as Wattpad, have been widely used. They provide space for writers and engage readers to create online writing communities. One of the most popular genres found in cyber literature is romance chick-lit, in which most main characters are working women. Although most protagonists are working women who are financially independent, they still search for men who have higher positions, social levels, and financial stability. They wish that such men will find and save them, referred to by Colette Dowling as Cinderella complex. The study investigates the Cinderella complex's indications on female protagonists in two Wattpad chick lit works: 1) Furious Boss & Naughty Secretary, and 2) Ex-lovers but Married. The indications of Cinderella Complex were shown through 1) the wish to be saved, 2) the girl-child lives on, 3) the achievement gap, 4) the intimations of helplessness, and 5) the blind devotion. Abstrak. Sastra cyber sudah diperhitungkan sebagai bagian dari studi sastra secara akademik melalui berbagai penelitian yang sudah dilakukan. Sastra cyber terwujud di dalam berbagai ruang cyber, baik itu dijalankan secara individual maupun profesional. Platform menulis pada internet seperti Wattpad sudah marak digunakan sebagai tempat berkarya bagi penulis serta menarik perhatian pembaca untuk menciptkana suatu komunitas menulis secara online. Salah satu genre populer pada sastra cyber adalah chicklit romantis yang mana karakter utamanya adalah wanita pekerja. Meskipun protagonis wanita merupakan wanita pekerja yang independen secara finansial, mereka masih mengharapkan pasangan yang berada di posisi, tingkat sosial dan kestabilan finansial yang lebih besar dari mereka. Studi ini bertujuan untuk mencari indikasi adanya Cinderella complex pada karakter protagonis perempuan melalui dua karya chicklit di Wattpad, yaitu: 1) Furious Boss & Naughty Secretary, dan 2) Mantan Tapi Menikah. Indikasi Cinderella complex yang ditemukan adalah 1) keinginan untuk diselamatkan, 2) gadis-kecil yang hidup di dalam diri, 3) kesenjangan prestasi, 4) tanda ketidakmampuan, dan 5) kepatuhan yang buta.
... Relational Theory in relation to Cinderella complex marks distinction in emotional development of men and women. It states that women are primarily driven to connect with others (Saha & Safri, 2016). ...
... It states that women are primarily driven to connect with others. (Saha & Safri, 2016). With the above research background and understanding the relationship between self construal and mental health of a person, the present study has been designed on the following objectives: ...
... Social experiment regarding Cinderella Complex has been done by Saha & Safri (2016) on women. In the beginning, married working women and students rejected the concept of Cinderella Complex with the argument that work and the desire for education that they are doing are based on their own desire. ...
Article
Full-text available
The article is devoted to the reconstruction of Cinderella myth in contemporary culture in the relation to the changing concepts of femininity. The Author takes into account several contexts of this issue. First, it can be understood in the terms of life as a lottery thanks to which in one moment a person is famous or rich (e.g. thanks to television success). Also, the author analyses the Cinderella in a light of sociological theory of competitive mobility. Besides sociotherapeutic Cinderella complex is analysed as well as feminist interpretation of Cinderella are reconstructed. The different versions of Cinderella fable are confronted with the various kinds of relations between women and men in contemporary. The Author shows also the examples of using the Cinderella myth in commercial advertising as well as politics and economy (Cinderella industry).
Research
Full-text available
Women's dependency has been a widely debated topic around the world. Back in the 60s-80s, women were limited to their household chores, child rearing practices and were financially dependent on men, and the concept of women dependency on men was phenomenological and acceptable. But when 90s arrived with the drive of women empowerment; women education flourished, they became financially independent and balanced work and personal lives. The concept of women dependency then started confusion and displease among the "new independent women". This theoretical article aims to elaborate on the concept of women dependence and its background. Cinderella Complex is a psychological syndrome that states women are unconsciously driven to be dependent on a dominant figure (preferably male). Relational Theory in relation to Cinderella complex marks distinction in emotional development of men and women. It states that women are primarily driven to connect with others. Traditionally, women have not been expected to confront fear and go beyond it. They have been encouraged to avoid what scares them, taught, from the time they were very young, to do only those things that allow them to feel comfortable and secure. In fact women were not trained for freedom at all, they were trained for dependency. Up to a point, dependency needs are quite normal, for men as well as for women. But women have been encouraged since they were children to be dependent; this kind of dependence upbringing is now seen as psychologically unhealthy by the contemporary society. Any woman who looks within knows that she was never trained to feel comfortable with the idea of taking care of herself, standing up for herself, asserting herself. At best she may have played the game of independence, inwardly envying the boys (and later the men) because they seemed so naturally self-sufficient.
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