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Chapter 15

PSYC 3480 Chapter 15: PSYC 3480 Women’s Psychology – Chapter 15
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3480
Professor
Vas.Valoo
Semester
Winter

Description
PSYC 3480 Women’s Psychology – Chapter 15 A Feminist Future Feminist Goals Goal 1: Gender Equality in Organizational Power  Despite legislation that prohibits gender discrimination in employment and educational programs, gender differences in organizational and interpersonal power continue to limit women’s advancement in the workplace  Men, especially white men, continue to have greater access to economic and political resources than women do – continue to outnumber women at high levels of management and in political office and own most of the wealth  Strong commitment from an organization’s top management can help create a culture that promotes the advancement of young women  As more women attain levels of power currently held by men, gender equality will begin to affect other areas o Women’s accessibility to important mentors and social networks will increase o Women’s wages will rise and become more similar to men’s Goal 2: Gender Equality in Relationship Power  Men continue to hold more interpersonal power relative to women; tend to have more control over a couple’s activities on dates and more influence in marriage  Women would benefit by having a greater voice in dating decision making and a more balanced division of household labor  Because both rape and domestic violence are due to male dominance, shared interpersonal power would go a long way in reducing this violence Goal 3: Gender Equality in Power for All Groups of Women  Women are also disadvantaged with differences within genders that add extra burdens to the lives of many women  White women are advantaged compared to colored; middle class women have more power than working class or poor women; heterosexual are more privileged than lesbian, bisexual and transgender women; able bodied women more privileged than disabled women and younger women have more power than older women  Ethnic minority and women with disabilities experience greater wage inequalities than White and able bodied women  Women of color and sexual minority experience more job discrimination and sexual harassment than whites and heterosexual women Goal 4: Greater Flexibility in the Social Construction of Gender  Gender is socially constructed and that most gender behaviors and roles are shaped by interpersonal, societal and cultural expectations and are not constrained to biological sex  It is not the biological nature of females and males that serve as the major foundation for people’s view of gender or their gender related activities and preferences, but their conception of what it means to be a female or male in society today  Imbalance of power also guides the social construction of gender – people with more power are likely to acquire and use different traits and behaviors than those in subordinate positions  Individuals in high status positions are more likely to display independence  People lacking powerful resources are more likely to rely on emotional connections between people and to develop female gender related traits  Rigid construction of gender is damaging to human potential – hinders development of individuals’ unique talents and interests by guiding them in directions dictated by the social constructs of their biological sex.  Flexibility can lead to an expansion in career options, more flexible decisions about work and family dilemmas, greater sexual equality and numerous other reductions  Flexibility of gender related behaviors and roles also has the potential to reduce the prevalence of sexual harassment and acquaintance rape  Can enhance communication within heterosexual couples by freeing each partner from constraints expected for his or her gender Actions to Achieve These Goals Research and Teaching  First – greater knowledge of gender differences in interpersonal and societal power can help clarify the role that power imbalance plays in women’s lives o Understanding the extent to which male power influences rape and battering, serves as the basis for the division of household labor and contributes to wage inequities o Reduction in male privilege cannot occur until people recognize that it exists o The more we understand the dynamics and the effects of power differentials, the better armed we are to reduce privilege and its negative consequences for the less powerful  Second – research and teaching about the psych of women enlightens people about the way they construct gender in their lives o As both men and women learn about the social basis for gender behaviors and roles, they might feel freer to experiment and to make choices that are less traditional but more personally appropriate  Third – can dispel myths and stereotypes that distort peoples understanding and reduce tolerance o A more representative body of knowledge can ensure that researchers, instructors and students do not generalize from one narrow group of females  Consideration of diverse women’s experiences must include a broader scope of topics o Must address previously under-examined issues; a broader conceptualization of research and teaching topics not only facilitates understanding but can also inform policy interventions  Although there is less info available about ethnic minority women, working class and poor women, women with disabilities, sexual minority women, and older women, it is essential that psychologists incorporate the knowledge base that does not exist into their teaching o Focusing on diversity helps demonstrate to students how culture, marginalization and privilege have formed their own experiences. Socialization of Children  Parents can bring up their children so that preferences and skills, rather than gender, are the defining characteristics that guide development  What would be the outcomes of gender flexible upbringing? First – it would expand the range of activities, behaviors and roles from which the child and, later, the adult could choose o Could lead to more egalitarian relationships because decision making and inst
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