PSYC 345: The Psychology of Women Report a Broken Link

Psychology 345: The Psychology of Women examines a number of topics in psychology that are of specific relevance to, and about, women. The course explores the scientific research as well as sexist myths concerning male and female differences, and looks at a variety of gender issues from a feminist perspective.

Supplementary Readings


Unit 1


Introduction to the Psychology of Women
The authors explore representations of women that suggest that women’s acts of heroism, which, although of a different nature, were at least equal to and, in some cases, more heroic than those of men.
The author examines issues of “whiteness” and “ethnocentric monoculturalism” as powerful, entrenched, and often invisible determinants of worldview.
Fehr describes how scientific reductionism has influenced philosophy and science, and argues for a feminist and gender-sensitive approach to science.

Unit 2


Gender Stereotypes and Other Gender Biases
The article presents findings from a study that shows that teachers were more likely to refer girls suspected of ADHD than boys.
The article highlights the different ways that stereotypes can influence judgments made about, and behavior toward, the individual members of a group.
The authors explore issues surrounding the promotion of gender equity in the classroom.

Unit 3


Infancy to Adolescence
The author examines the ways in which a psychoanalytic perspective may illuminate the underlying developmental dynamics of children of lesbian parents.
The authors look at the influences of gender identity on change in preadolescents’ adjustment over time.
The authors examine gender differences in the competence of children’s imaginary friends.

Unit 4


Gender Comparisons
The authors discuss the associations between gender role and intimate partner aggression.
The authors present the results of a survey assessing the differences in men’s and women’s emotionality.
The authors examine cultural shifts in the way men's bodies are represented.

Unit 5


Work and Relationships
The article looks at the obstacles today’s working women face, and describes how women’s beliefs about “the maternal wall,” “the ideal worker,” and “the ideal homemaker” affect their performance.
The article examines the multi-level change processes occurring in the lives of employed mothers in response to work and family incompatibilities.
The authors look at four experiments that confirm that women’s automatic in-group bias is much stronger than men’s and discuss the reasons for this finding.

Unit 6


Sexuality, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood
The authors describe the disadvantaging effects of motherhood on women’s workplace outcomes, and look at how these derive from the devalued social status attached to the task of being a primary caregiver.
The authors consider the reasons why lesbian workers have more of an economic advantage than heterosexual mothers.
The authors discuss the resilience of gendered expectations and roles.

Unit 7


Physical and Mental Health
The authors examine the tenuous findings of a class of symptoms experienced prior to menses labelled Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). They argue that PMDD is a socially constructed diagnosis rather than a psychiatric disorder.
The article discusses mental health counselors’ implicit assumptions about a range of human attributes. It describes how these assumptions can affect a counselor’s view of client problems and influence her or his professional behavior.
The authors discuss the importance of applying a gender-sensitive approach in epidemiological research.

Unit 8


Violence Against Women
The article describes how violence from intimate partners and aspects of the mothering role impede low-income women's ability to sustain employment.
The authors look at how working in an organizational context that is perceived as hostile toward women affects employees’ well-being, even in the absence of personal hostility experiences.
The authors describe how daily changes in workday pace and end-of-the-workday mood relate to nightly variations in withdrawn and angry marital behaviors.

Unit 9


Women and Older Adulthood and Future Trends
The author discusses issues aging women often confront, particularly those related to ageism and body image, and emphasizes society’s role in influencing women’s perceptions of their bodies.
The authors examine the consequences of perceived age discrimination for well-being and group identification.
This report raises four questions: why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige in every field; why might people fail to recognize that there is a gender equity problem; how can gender equity be seen as a benefit to institutions; and what can institutions do to increase gender equity?