PSYC 3480 - Lecture 1 (detailed notes from the in-class video)

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4 Mar 2012
Feminist psychology ʹ theoretical connections or theories that have been developed in women͛s
studies. The psychology of women is concerned with the lives and experiences of women. Psychology of
women courses are more common than psychology of men courses.
Gender (psychology) ʹ social and biological processes that create differences. How do gender
differences or gender similarities come about.
Sex = biological structure, biological perspective. Has to do with males and females being different in
terms of anatomy, genetics, and reproductive functions.
Gender is a psychological construct and has to do with the meanings that society has used to guide
males and females.
Biological differences do NOT lead to gender differences. Gender differences are constructed by society.
͞Doing Gender͟ refers to how we express our gender with our interactions with each other in society.
How men and women express their gender when they are talking with each other?
-Body language
uGreetings (handshakes)
-Pitch of voice (women raise pitch when talking to men)
-Males with males ʹ talk louder
-Females are more tentative
The extent of Social Biases
-Sexism -
-Heterosexism/Sexual Prejudice
In what ways are you positioned in society with privilege (or without privilege)?
-Physically attractive
-Most of us believe to some extent each sex has a privilege
You should try to identify ways to make a difference (social justice!)
Dominant Group vs Marginalized Group (could be in terms of race, age, sex, etc)
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Feminist Approaches
-Liberal Feminism
-Cultural Feminism
-Radical Feminism
-Women of Color Feminism
Does feminism only apply to females? No, have male feminists
Feminism ʹ regardless of sex, to consider women as equal to men; an equal playing field.
Feminism ʹ belief that women͛s experiences are valued and men and women are equal socially, legally,
and economically. SEE SHEET
Liberal feminism ʹ maintains that males and females maintain same opportunities, and fight to be equal
Cultural feminism ʹ emphasizes the positive qualities in women, and argues that society places higher
value on qualities associated with men compared with qualities associated with women. Argues that
males and females are different
Cultural feminism ʹ argues that compared to roles females play, men͛s roles are more valuable. Men are
too good to do the washing/cooking.
If males don͛t want to help their wives in the housework, it͛s not looked down upon.
Radical feminism/sexism ʹ argues that sexism permeates society at all levels (interpersonal, personal,
national levels). Sexism is universal ʹ present at each level. Radical feminism is how the feminist
movement started out. (many people believe that that is what feminism is now).
Women of color feminism ʹ came about as counter-reaction to radical feminism. Argues that all women
do not have similar experiences, they are influenced by factors such as race, culture, society, etc. Should
not assume that all women are homogenous.
Socialist feminism ʹ rooted in the capitalist and economic structure of society.
uSocial constructionism
uDo gender differences come about because of social constructionism or because of
biological differences?
uTextbook men and women are more similar than they are different (we are more
similar in terms of cognitive functions, but more different in social interactions)
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