Bibliography: History of Feminist Psychology

This post is written by Alexandra Rutherford, York University and is part of a special series of bibliographies on topics in the history of psychology.

I have included four sections in this reading list. All are limited to the North American context. The first section includes works that review and/or historically analyze the history of feminist psychology, psychology of women, and psychology of gender in North America. The second brief section includes a few resources on the history of feminist organizing/organizations in North American psychology. The last two sections I have called Feminist Psychology Classics I and II to refer to primary works pre-second wave feminism, and second wave and beyond, respectively. I have intentionally refrained from including the body of work on psychoanalysis and feminism, and have used fairly internalist inclusion criteria, that is, I have included works written by psychologists, generated within the disciplinary framework of organized psychology. Clearly, there are many classic works of feminist psychology that fall outside these boundaries.

I. History of Feminist Psychology/Psychology of Women/Psychology of Gender:

Brodsky, A. M. (1980). A decade of feminist influence on psychotherapy. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 4, 331-344.

Crawford, M. & Marecek, J. (1989). Psychology reconstructs the female, 1968-1988. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 13, 147-165.

Denmark, F. L., & Fernandez, L. C. (1993). Historical development of the psychology of women. In F. L. Denmark & M. A. Paludi (Eds.), Psychology of women: A handbook of issues and theories (pp. 4-22). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Harris, B. J. (1984). The power of the past: History and the psychology of women. In M. Lewin (Ed.), In the shadow of the past: Psychology portrays the sexes (pp. 1-25). New York: Columbia University Press.

Henley, N. M. (1985). Psychology and gender. Signs, 11, 101-119.

Herman, E. (1995). The curious courtship of psychology and women’s liberation. In E. Herman, The romance of American psychology (pp. 276-303). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Marecek, J., Kimmel, E. B., Crawford, M., & Hare-Mustin, R. T. (2003). Psychology of women and gender. In D. K. Freedheim (Ed.), Handbook of psychology, Volume 1: History of psychology (pp. 249-268). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Mednick, M. T. & Weissman, H. J. (1975). The psychology of women: Selected topics. Annual Review of Psychology, 26, 1-18.

Milar, K. S. (2000). The first generation of women psychologists and the psychology of women. American Psychologist, 55, 616-619.

Minton, H. L. (2000). Psychology and gender at the turn of the century. American Psychologist, 55, 613-615.

Morawski, J. G. (1994). Practicing feminisms, reconstructing psychology: Notes on a liminal science. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Morawski, J. G. & Agronick, G. (1991). A restive legacy: The history of feminist work in experimental and cognitive psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 567-579.

Parlee, M. B. (1975). Psychology. Signs, 1, 119-138.

Parlee, M. B. (1979). Psychology and women. Signs, 5, 121-133.

Robb, C. (2007). The changes everything: The relational revolution in psychology. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Rosenberg, R. (1982). Beyond separate spheres: The intellectual roots of modern feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Rutherford, A. & Granek, L. (2010). Emergence and development of the psychology of women. In J. Chrisler & D. McCreary (Eds.), Handbook of gender research in psychology (pp. 19-41). New York: Springer.

Rutherford, A., Vaughn-Blount, K., & Ball, L. C. (2010). Responsible opposition, disruptive voices: Science, activism, and the history of feminist psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 460-473.

Shields, S. A. (1975). Functionalism, Darwinism, and the psychology of women. American Psychologist, 30, 739-754.

Shields, S. A. (1982). The variability hypothesis: The history of a biological model of sex differences in intelligence. Signs, 7, 769-797.

Shields, S. A. (2007). Passionate men, emotional women: Psychology constructs gender difference in the late 19th century. History of Psychology, 10, 92-110.

Stewart, A J., & Dottolo, A. L. (2006). Feminist psychology. Signs, 31, 493-509.

Teo, T. (2005). The critique of psychology: From Kant to postcolonial theory. New York: Springer. [Contains a historical overview of the feminist critique of psychology.]

Unger, R. K. (1998). Resisting gender: Twenty-five years of feminist psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Vaughter, R. M. (1976). Psychology. Signs, 2, 120-146.

II. History of Feminist Organizing/Organizations:

Bryan, A. I. (1986). A participant’s view of the National Council of Women Psychologists: Comment on Capshew and Laszlo. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 181-184.

Capshew, J. H., & Laszlo, A. C. (1986). “We would not take no for an answer”: Women psychologists and gender politics during World War II. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 157-180.

Johnson, A. & Johnston, E. (2010). Unfamiliar feminisms: Revisiting the National Council of Women Psychologists. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(3), 311-327.

Mednick, M. T. S., & Urbanski, L. (1991). The origins and activities of APA’s division of the psychology of women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 651-663.

Pyke, S. W. (2001). Feminist psychology in Canada: Early days. Canadian Psychology, 42, 268- 275.

Pyke, S.W. & Stark-Adamec, C. (1981). Canadian feminism and psychology: The first decade. Canadian Psychology, 22, 38-54.

Russo, N. F., & Dumont, A. (1997). A history of division 35 (psychology of women): Origins, issues, activities, future. In D. A. Dewsbury (Ed.), Unification through division: Histories of the divisions of the American Psychological Association (vol. 2, pp. 211-238). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Schwesinger, G. C. (1943). Wartime organizational activities of women psychologists: II. The National Council of Women Psychologists. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 7, 298-299.

Tiefer, L. (1991). A brief history of the Association for Women in Psychology: 1969-1991. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 635-649.

Walsh, M. R. (1985). Academic professional women organizing for change: The struggle in psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 17-28.

III. Feminist Psychology Classics I:

This is a brief selection of pre-second wave primary sources, many of which focused on empirically testing beliefs about sex differences. Also see the Special Collection entitled “An historical view of some early women psychologists and the psychology of women” by Katherine Milar at the Classics in the History of Psychology website.

Hollingworth, L. S. (1914a). Functional periodicity: An experimental study of the mental and motor abilities of women during menstruation. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 69.

Hollingworth, L. S. (1914b). Variability as related to sex differences in achievement: A critique. American Journal of Sociology, 19, 510-530.

Nevers, C. C., & Calkins, M. W. (1895). Dr. Jastrow on community of ideas of men and women. Psychological Review, 2, 363-367.

Seward, G. H. (1944). Psychological effects of the menstrual cycle in women workers. Psychological Bulletin, 41, 90-102.

Seward, G. H. (1944). Sex roles in postwar planning. Journal of Social Psychology, 19, 163-185.

Seward, G. H. (1946). Sex and the social order. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Tanner, A. (1896). The community of ideas of men and women. Psychological Review, 3, 548-550.

Thompson, H. B. (1903). The mental traits of sex: An empirical investigation of the normal mind in men and women. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Woolley, H. T. (1914). The psychology of sex. Psychological Bulletin, 11, 353-379.

IV. Feminist Psychology Classics II:

This is a selection of second wave and post-second wave works that appear to have had a significant impact. I include nothing after 1986, and try to stick largely to the 1970s. This is, of course, history in the making, and not all may agree with my selections. There are many more works that can be included here, but this is a start.

Belenky, M. F., Clinchey, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, J. M. (1986). Women’s ways of knowing: Development of self, voice, and mind. New York: Basic Books.

Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162.

Brodsky, A. M., & Hare-Mustin, R. T. (1980). Women and psychotherapy. New York: Guilford.

Broverman, I. K., Broverman, D. M., Clarkson, F. E., Rosenkrantz, P. S., & Vogel, S. R. (1970). Sex role stereotypes and clinical judgments of mental health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 34, 1-7.

Chesler, P. (1972). Women and madness. Garden City, NY : Doubleday.

Deaux, K. & Emswiller, T. (1974). Explanation of successful performance on sex-linked tasks: What is skill for the male is luck for the female. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 80-85.

Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Henley, N. (1977). Body politics: Power, sex, and nonverbal communication. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Horner, M. S. (1972). Toward an understanding of achievement-related conflicts in women. Journal of Social Issues, 28, 157-175.

Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. (1974). The psychology of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Miller, J. B. (1976). Toward a new psychology of women. Boston: Beacon Press.

Reinharz, S. (1979/1992). Feminist methods in social research. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sherif, C. W. (1979/1998). Bias in psychology. Reprinted in Feminism & Psychology, 8, 58-75.

Sherman, J. A. (1971). On the psychology of women: A survey of empirical studies. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Tobach, E., & Rosoff, B. (1977). Genes and gender (Vol. 1). New York: Gordian Press.

Unger, R. K. (1979). Toward a redefinition of sex and gender. American Psychologist, 34, 1085-1094.

Weisstein, N. (1971). Psychology constructs the female; or, The fantasy life of the male psychologist (with some attention to the fantasies of his friends, the male biologist and the male anthropologist). Journal of Social Education, 35, 362-373.

Those interested in knowing more about feminist psychology, past and present, may wish to visit Rutherford’s ongoing project Psychology’s Feminist Voices, an online archive where the stories of female psychologists are explored through short biographical entries, oral histories, videos, and more.

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