A comprehensive survey of the psychology of women establishes the importance of having a separate field of inquiry for female psychology

Women and Gender

A Feminist Psychology

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Rhoda Unger and Mary Crawford

In this comprehensive survey of the psychology of women, Unger and Crawford establish the importance of having a separate field of inquiry for female psychology. As they expose the ways in which psychology in the past emphasized the differences among sex, gender, and cognitive abilities in men and women, the authors incorporate recent research on sexual preference and on racial, ethnic, and class diversity among women, as well as material on minority women, lesbians, and disabled women. Examining the interaction of social, situational, and biological factors, Unger and Crawford offer this book as "an invitation to explore the knowledge and participate in the ongoing debates of psychology's reconstruction of the female."

The broad scope of Women and Gender, its emphasis on cultural diversity, and the authors' use of anecdotal and interview material make this book an unusually complete as well as a lively and accessible reference. Themes covered in the book include changing stereotypes, relationships and commitments, status and power relationships between men and women, adolescence, and gender-role socialization, among many others. Since the new psychology of women and gender developed in a social context of feminism, the authors explore the meanings of feminism, and draw on a variety of feminist perspectives to clarify particular topics.



1. Introduction to a Feminist Psychology of Women
2. Approaches to Understanding Girls and Women
3. The Meanings of Difference: Sex, Gender, and Cognitive Abilities
4. Images of Women
5. Doing Gender: Sex, Status, and Power
6. Biological Aspects of Sex and Gender
7. Becoming Gendered: Childhood
8. Becoming a Woman: Puberty and Adolescence
9. Sex, Love, and Romance
10. Commitments: Women and Long-Term Relationships
11. Mothering
12. Work and Achievement
13. Midlife and Beyond
14. Violence against Women
15. Gender and Psychological Disorders
16. Summing Up
Author Index
Subject Index


About the Author(s)

Rhoda Unger is a Professor of Psychology at Montclair State College and the author of Female and Male.

Mary Crawford is a Professor of Psychology at West Chester University and the coeditor of Gender and Thought.

Subject Categories

Women's Studies



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