WOMEN AND SEX ROLES: A Social Psychological Perspective by Irene H. & Others Frieze

WOMEN AND SEX ROLES: A Social Psychological Perspective

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A team of feminist teachers from UCLA labored mightily to produce this ""basic text for courses in the psychology of women, sociology of women, women's studies, and sex roles."" As a scholarly survey of the interaction between social psychology and women's concerns, it succeeds handsomely; as a contribution to feminist literature, it is too dispassionate to wield clout. Women's roles are examined from a multitude of perspectives: psychoanalytic theories about women are rebutted for their ""negative perception of women""; methodological research problems, including experimenter bias against women, are methodically unearthed; social learning, identification, and cognitive-developmental theories of sex-role acquisitions are compared and contrasted (with the scales tipped slightly in favor of the third alternative). The authors find little evidence to support a ""biological basis for sex differences in behavioral patterns,"" with the ""possible exceptions of aggression and spatial skills."" The rapidly changing lifestyle alternatives for women have led to increased ""role strain"" and ""role overload,"" which have increased the incidence of psychological disorders in women; this, in turn, has led to the ""Feminist Therapy Movement"" to offset sex bias in traditional therapy. Although the authors aver that discrimination against women is still widespread in the workplace and in politics, and although they sift carefully through the sources of such discriminations, they see encouraging signs of change in, for instance, the increased ""number of women holding elective office at all levels."" Uninvigorating but responsible.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Norton