Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology - Vol. 3

By Agnes N. O'Connell | Go to book overview
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Foreword

No particular event marked psychology's almost precipitous “discovery of women.” But it was clearly in the mid-to-late 1960s that under the influence of a rising feminism and the Civil Rights Movement, women began to have a visible impact on the discipline of psychology and its professional organizations. One of the early indicators of women psychologists' willingness to question their prior treatment was the appearance of articles in which lesser women's status in the field was documented. It ranged from data showing a marked preference of investigators (most of them male) for employing men rather than women in their research, the tendency of faculty members to list male graduate students as junior authors in their research publications but to thank female graduate students for their help in a footnote, and, of course, the scarcity of women psychologists in academia and leadership positions in general.

On the heels of these early publications came articles devoted to understanding women and their position in our society such as, for example, assessment of women's and men's stereotypes about women's characteristics versus those of men and beliefs about appropriate sex roles for men and women (the use of the word gender to designate socially constructed as opposed to biologically rooted phenomena had yet to be introduced), along with development of novel theories to replace old ideas about men and women, such as the temperamental qualities purportedly responsible for women's failure to achieve. From being topics that were all but ignored, publications related to gender and the psychology of women began to grow rapidly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Initially, gender-related research (most of which was done by women) was generally regarded as not quite respectable, and at best, not as serious or important as other areas of study (attitudes

-xiii-

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Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology - Vol. 3
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