What is Feminism?

 Feminism is theory that men and women should be equal politically, economically

and socially. (AmazonCastle, 2004)
 Feminism may be defined as a move to reduce and eliminate gender inequality, or

alternatively limited to the goal of improving the position of women while still

embracing gender difference, or more ambitiously as having the aim of transforming

gender relations and existing gender standards (Rees, 1998)

Feminism (In further detail)

 Feminists argued that the discipline of psychology had ignored the study of women

and gender and misrepresented women in its research and theories. This started

around the 1960’s.
 They posed many questions which called for research and this developed into the

research of gender and women.
 The study of women and gender has become a major focus of psychological science,

rising dramatically from receiving almost no attention to a position of considerable


We will now look at Femininism and its link to Psychology

 Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It is a multifaceted

discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development,

sports, health, clinical, social behaviour and cognitive processes. (McLeod, 2011)
 A major effect of feminism on psychology is the creation of feminist psychology,

which is a form of psychology centred on societal structures and gender. Feminist

psychology critiques the fact that historically psychological research has been done

from a male point of view, with the perspective that makes are the norm.
 Naiomi Weisstein declared in her work “Psychology Constructs the Female” (1968)

that psychology neglected and omitted women from its corpus of knowledge. Since

less assertive and less proficient in science and mathematics. How did feminism impact psychology research?  Feminists challenged the American Psychology Association (APA) a. 1991). Clark of their concerns. chaired by Helen Astin due to these challenges.  Psychological studies before the rise of feminism were largely male biased. The APA established a Task Force on the Status of Women. feminist psychologists such as Weinstein met at the annual convention of the APA where “regular symposia became angry discussions focused on sexist practices at the convention” (Tiefer. c. This resulted in the formation of the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP) in 1969. At the 1970 convention. and overt sexual harassment.  These deficiencies were then seen as stereotypes of all women and were used to deny women entry or advancement in male-dominated employment settings. members of the AWP rallied informing the APA president. early research that focused on sex differences claimed that in comparison to men women were less motivated to achieve. They also demanded one million dollars in compensation for the damage psychology had perpetrated against women’s minds and bodies. they were evaluated according to male standard. then many feminists were passionate about reshaping the discipline of psychology and make it more relevant to the lives of women and girls. -The topics studied. For example. Kenneth B. b. Feminist psychologists Phyllis Chesler and Nancy Henley prepared a statement on APA’s obligations to women. These sexist practices included job advertisements indicating “men only. reflected male concerns. such as aggression and achievement.” lack of child care at the convention. and the results of research based on male samples were assumed to apply to women (Crawford and Marecek 1989)  When women were studied. In 1969. The task force undertook a two-year study and . so that women's personality and behaviour were seen as deviant or deficient in comparison.

appeared. Martha Mednick. An Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women was formed to follow through on the recommendations of the task force. One of these findings was that psychological research on and knowledge about women was deficient. Reid became the division’s first black woman president in 1991. organized convention programs on the concerns of women of color. In 1976. was formed. a bylaw change converted the Committee to a permanent Section on the Psychology of Black Women. e) Diversity expanded more as more sections developed on the Concerns of Hispanic/Latina Women and Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Concerns. Division 35 had grown to become the fourth largest in the APA. The task force compiled a bibliography of research on black women. it was recognized that parallels between racism and sexism could not be overlooked. d) This task force developed the Black Women’s Concerns committee with Pamela Trotman Reid as its first chair and in In 1985.  Feminist psychology embraces diversity a) The AWP did not have women of colour. By 1995. and worked to increase the representation of black women in APA governance. asked Saundra Rice Murray to organize a task force on black women’s concerns in 1976. They were largely driven by middle class white feminists while women of colour did not have a strong institutional base in psychology and have not had a ready ear for their concerns. the first issue of the new journal. published a detailed report of its findings and recommendations in 1973. Moreover. Division 35.  Adding Gender to Existing Research Areas . b) Comaz Diaz 1991 recognized the need to attract the interests and energies of feminists of colour and to make the psychology of women a field that would reflect the richness of this diversity. Psychology of Women Quarterly. and in 1973. Accordingly. the task force recommended that a division devoted to the psychology of women be established to promote research in this area. Psychology of Women. c) The president of Division 35.

Studies monitored the division of labour within the family along with family members’ perceptions of its fairness  Applied research to public advocacy. consistently emerged. a) There are three main topics that added gender to existing psychology research. Despite decline in the amount of gender stereotyping research. one masculine and the other feminine. sexual harassment. and work.Feminism has increased awareness and encouraged researchers to investigate topics such as sexism. created vulnerability to mental illness (Gove & Tudor. and violence against women.Previous research relating to this topic uggested that women’s life situations.Due to the growth of women. d) Work-family issues. recent experiments on stereotype threat have attracted attention by revealing that stereotypes portraying one’s own sex unfavorably can lower performance on stereotype-relevant tasks (see Nguyen & Ryan. These topics are: gender stereotypes and sex role attitudes.  It asks new questions. 2002) c) Gender and depression. in the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s psychologists initiated research on employed mothers and dual-earner couples. Eg instead of asking . 2008. Steele.family issues. troubled interpersonal relationships. b) Gender stereotypes and sex role attitudes. body image dissatisfaction and objectification. & Aronson. However newer research found that the higher incidence of depression in women begins in adolescence and is not confined to homemakers (Radloff. Spencer. especially mothers. 1973).Feminism has further affected Psychology by changing the perspective on questions asked or even asking new questions. especially the homemaker role. gender and depression. 1975). Depression in women was also related to negative life experiences such as sexual abuse and peer harassment. and the stresses that can follow from care giving. two dimensions.In research on the cultural stereotypes that people commonly hold about women and men in general.

To assist therapist have developed empowerment therapies that help women better cope and deal with distress using situations with effective interpersonal and problem solving skills . including poverty.There has also been extensive research done on the stress women face on a daily basis due to the inequalities in the political. Bibliography . The question effectively reframes the research question to address the well being of single parents.The new questions redirect focus from women's internal pathology to the pathology of the system that keeps women implosions by fear and lack of resources. economic. about the effects of broken homes or the loss of masculinity of fatherless boys. Research on spouse abuse had been reframed from "why didn't she just leave?" To those such as "why do some men beat their wives and partners?" Or "what are the barriers that keep her from leaving?"  Challenge research priorities -They have also challenged research priorities by challenging the notion that all research is value free and objective. feminist psychologist began to ask about the health and well being of single mothers (Worrell 1988). and lack of social support. The focus moved to those of environmental variables that affected their lives and thief parenting opportunities. isolation. Feminism has allowed for girls and women to be included as research participants. stating that personal and political values enter into all scholarly efforts. as well as research subjects to be included as participants in a collaborative enterprise and also they turned to qualitative methods that assessed women's lives experiences  Revise therapeutic practice.  Name and rename problems. legal and social structures that of society that disempowered women.

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