Psychology of Women:
Perspectives on Theory
and Research for
EMILIE F. SOBEL
The past decade has produced a plethora of psychological literature on sex differences, sex-role stereotypes, gender identity, and so forth. Both mental health professionals and the scientific community have been actively engaged in reassessing traditional views. This scholarly activity, prompted in part by the idea mongering of feminists, has provided a revision of Freudian orthodoxy and of the naive stereotypes that heretofore have pervaded experimental research in psychology. Many practicing clinicians have been struggling with these issues as well. While not comfortable functioning within traditional views, they are not prepared to abandon an intrapsychic orientation in favor of a sociocultural emphasis.
As a result of the research efforts of recent years, the view of the human female as passive, masochistic, and submissive has for the most part been debunked. Still, as the often-cited Broverman studies (Broverman et al. 1968, 1970) have indicated, the mental health professional has not escaped orthodoxy. Sex bias among male and female profes