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Women, Gender, and Psychology THIRD EDITION

Mary Crawford University of Connecticut




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In memory of my daughter Mary Ellen Drummer

A feminist voice stilled too soon




About the Author

MARY CRAWFORD is Professor Emerita of Psychology and former director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Connecticut. As a faculty member at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, she earned the Trustees’ Award for Lifetime Achievement for her research and teaching on women and gender. She has also held the Jane W. Irwin Chair in Women’s Studies at Hamilton College, served as distinguished Visiting Teacher/Scholar at the College of New Jersey, and directed the graduate program in Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina. Professor Crawford received her PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Delaware. She has served as a consulting editor for Sex Roles, an associate editor of Feminism & Psychology, and is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. Mary Crawford has spoken and written about the psychology of women and gender for audiences as diverse as the British Psychological Society, Ms. Magazine, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition to more than 120 publications on women and gender, she has written or edited 10 books including Gender and Thought: Psychological Perspectives (1989); Talking Difference: On Gender and Language (1995); Gender Differences in Human Cognition (1997); Coming Into Her Own: Educational Success in Girls and Women (1999); and Innovative Methods for Feminist Psychological Research (1999), which received the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, she lived and worked in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she collaborated with Nepali NGOs to develop interventions to reduce sex trafficking. Her book, Sex Trafficking in South Asia: Telling Maya’s Story (2011), is both a memoir about the experience of doing research with women in Nepal and a feminist analysis of sex trafficking in South Asia.





PART 1 Introduction

Chapter 1 Paving the Way Beginnings

How Did the Psychology of Women Get Started? Psychology and the Women’s Movement Voices from the Margins: A History

What Is Feminism? Feminism Has Many Meanings Is There a Simple Definition?

Methods and Values in Psychological Research Psychology’s Methods Toward Gender-Fair Research Feminist Values in Research


About This Book

A Personal Reflection

Exploring Further

PART 2 Gender in Social Context

Chapter 2 Gender, Status, and Power What Is Gender?

Gender Shapes Societies and Cultures Gender and Power Justifying Gender Inequality


Gender Shapes Social Interactions Constructing Gender through Female Bodies Gender as a Presentation of Self “Doing Gender” Constructing Gender in Interaction


Gender Shapes Individuals Justifying Inequality Sexist Attitudes

Linking the Levels of Gender: A Summary

Making a Difference Transforming Ourselves Transforming Interpersonal Relations Transforming the Structures of Inequality

Exploring Further

Chapter 3 Images of Women Words Can Never Hurt Me?

Language about Women and Men

Worth a Thousand Words: Media Images Representing Women and Men Face-ism Sexual Objectification Invisible Women

Stereotypes about Women and Men The Content of Gender Stereotypes Sexuality Stereotypes The Intersectionality of Gender and Ethnic Stereotypes Are Stereotypes Accurate? Stereotypes Are Hard to Change

The Impact of Stereotypes Stereotypes, the Self, and Stereotype Threat Stereotypes, Status, and Power Stereotypes and Sexist Behavior How Not to Stereotype

Making a Difference Transforming Language Challenging Objectification

Exploring Further viii

Chapter 4 The Meanings of Difference The Politics of Difference and Similarity

Defining Difference and Similarity Measuring Differences Interpreting Results: Values and Ideology in Research

Gendering Cognition: “Girls Can’t Do Math” What Factors Influence Math Performance? Social Implications of Gendered Cognition

Gendering Emotion: “Boys Don’t Cry” Emotion Stereotypes Culture, Ethnicity, and Emotionality Emotionality and Social Interaction Social Implications of Gendered Emotionality

Making a Difference The Individual Level: Thinking Critically about Differences and Similarities


The Interactional Level: Difference and Discrimination The Sociocultural Level: Creating Opportunities for Equality Can Similarities and Differences Be Reconciled?

Exploring Further

PART 3 Gender and Development

Chapter 5 Sex, Gender, and Bodies How Does Sex Develop?

Sexual Differentiation during Fetal Development Variations in Fetal Development: Intersexuality

Sex, Gender Identity, and Gender Typing Intersexuality and Identity Transgender Identity

Sex and Sexual Orientation Is There a Gay Gene? Hormones and Sexual Orientation

Sex as a Social Construction Constructing Two Sexes Rethinking Gender Dysphoria


Beyond the Binary More Than Two Sexes Genderqueer

Making a Difference Transforming Society: Equality for Gender Minorities Transforming Ourselves: Accepting Biological and Social Diversity

Exploring Further

Chapter 6 Gendered Identities: Childhood and Adolescence Theories of Gender Development

Social Learning Theory Cognitive Theories

Gender in the Child’s Daily Life Parental Influences Peer Influences Gendered Environments Media Influences Intersectionality, and Gender Typing Children and Poverty

Leaving Childhood Behind: Puberty and Adolescence Changing Bodies Gender Intensification

Vulnerabilities of Adolescence Who Is This New Self? Peer Culture and Harassment

Making a Difference Transforming Social Interactions: Enlarging the Options for Girls Transforming Ourselves: Resisting Gender Typing


Exploring Further

PART 4 Gendered Life Paths

Chapter 7 Sex, Love, and Romance How Is Sexuality Shaped by Culture?


What Are Sexual Scripts? Contemporary Sexual Scripts Sexual Scripts Differ across Ethnic Groups and Cultures

Adolescent Sexuality How Does Sexuality Emerge in the Teen Years? What Factors Influence the Decision to Have Sex? Teens and Safer Sex

Experiencing Sexuality First Intercourse: Less Than Bliss? Women’s Experiences of Orgasm Evils of Masturbation or Joys of Self-Pleasure?

Lesbian and Bisexual Women Defining Sexual Orientation Developing a Lesbian or Bisexual Identity Intersections of Ethnic and Sexual Identity

Hookups, Dating, and Romantic Love Hookup Culture? Internet Dating The Subtle Scripts of Sexual Initiative and Pleasure Sexual Scripts and Sexual Dysfunction

Social Contexts of Sexual Expression Cultural Variations in the United States Attractiveness and Sexual Desirability Disability and Sexuality Is Sex Talk Sexist? Studs and Sluts: Is There Still a Double Standard? Silencing Girls’ Sexuality Controlling Women’s Sexuality

Making a Difference Safer and Better Sex

Exploring Further

Chapter 8 Commitments: Women and Close Relationships Marriage

Who Marries and When? Who Marries Whom?


Varieties of Marriage Power in Marriage Happily Ever After? Marital Satisfaction and Psychological Adjustment

Lesbian Couples Lesbian and Heterosexual Couples Compared Characteristics of Lesbian Marriages and Relationships


Power and Satisfaction in Lesbian Relationships

Cohabiting Couples Who Cohabits and Why? Does Living Together Affect Later Marriage?

Ending the Commitment: Separation and Divorce What Are the Causes and Consequences of Divorce?


Making a Difference Marriage Equality for Lesbian and Gay Couples True Partnership: Equality in Heterosexual Marriage

Exploring Further

Chapter 9 Mothering Images of Mothers and Motherhood

The Decision to Have a Child Why Do Women Choose to Have Children? Childless by Choice or Circumstance? Restricting Women’s Choices Technology and Choice

The Transition to Motherhood How Does Motherhood Change Work and Marital Roles? Psychological Effects of Bodily Changes during Pregnancy How Do Others React to Pregnant Women? Motherhood and Women’s Identity

The Event of Childbirth Is Childbirth a Medical Crisis? Family-Centered Childbirth Depression Following Childbirth: Why?


Experiences of Mothering Teen Mothers Single Mothers Black Mothers and the Matriarchal Myth LGBT Mothers

Making a Difference Transforming Social Policy: Redefining Family Values Transforming Social Meanings: Redefining Parenthood

Exploring Further

Chapter 10 Work and Achievement If She Isn’t Paid, Is It Still Work?

Housework As Real Work Relational Work: Keeping Everybody Happy Status Work: The Two-Person Career What Are the Costs and Benefits of Invisible Work?

Working Hard for a Living: Women in the Paid Workforce Occupational Segregation Women’s Work as “Only Natural” The Wage Gap


Doing Gender in the Workplace Evaluating Women’s Performance Discrimination in Hiring and Promotion Social Reactions to Token Women The Importance of Mentoring Leadership: Do Women Do It Differently?

Sexual Harassment from Nine to Five Defining Sexual Harassment The Prevalence of Harassment What Are the Causes of Harassment? The Consequences of Harassment

Women’s Career Development Expectancies, Values, and Career Paths High-Achieving Women

Putting It All Together: Work and Family What Are the Costs of the Balancing Act? What Are the Benefits of the Balancing Act?


Making A Difference: Women, Work, and Social Policy

Exploring Further

Chapter 11 The Second Half: Midlife and Aging Not Just a Number: The Social Meanings of Age

Is There a Double Standard of Aging? Ageism Cross-Cultural Differences Self-Identity and Social Identity

Images of Older Women Invisibility Grannies and Witches: Images and Stereotypes of Older Women The Effects of Age Stereotypes

In an Aging Woman’s Body Physical Health in Middle and Later Life Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy The Medicalization of Menopause Constructing the Object of Desire Exercise and Fitness Sexuality in Middle and Later Life

Relationships: Continuity and Change Friends and Family Becoming a Grandmother Caregiving: Its Costs and Rewards Loss of a Life Partner

Work and Achievement Women in Their Prime Retirement Poverty in Later Life

Making a Difference Transforming Society: Elder Activism Transforming Social Interaction: Taking Charge of the Second Half Transforming Ourselves: Resisting Ageism


Exploring Further xiv

PART 5 Gender and Well-Being

Chapter 12 Violence against Women Violence against Girls and Women: A Global Perspective

The Gender System and Violence Rape-Prone Societies ‘Honor’-based Violence Sex Trafficking

Violence and the Media Gender Violence as Entertainment Pornography

Violence and Social Media

Violence against Children Child Sexual Abuse How Can Abuse of Children Be Ended?

Violence in Intimate Relationships Dating Violence Stalking Sexual Coercion and Acquaintance Rape Violence in Long-Term Relationships How Can Relationship Violence Be Ended?

Violence in Later Life Elder Abuse Widow Abuse How Can Elder Abuse Be Ended?

Making a Difference A Multifaceted Approach to Interventions Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

Exploring Further

Chapter 13 Psychological Disorders, Therapy, and Women’s Well- Being Sexist Bias in Defining Disorders

The Social Construction of Abnormality Women’s Behavior as Abnormal Blaming Women for Distress and Disorders The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)


Gender-Linked Psychological Disorders Why Are There Gender-Related Differences in the Rates of Some Disorders? Which Disorders Are Diagnosed More Frequently in Women?

Sexist Bias in the Treatment of Psychological Disorders Institutionalizing Women Medicating Women Traditional Psychotherapy

Feminist Therapy


Conducting Feminist Therapy Intersectionality and Feminist Therapy Evaluating Feminist Therapy

Making a Difference Transforming Ourselves: Finding (or Becoming) a Feminist Therapist Transforming Social Relations: Challenging the “Crazy Woman” Stereotype Transforming Society: Promoting Women’s Psychological Well-Being

Exploring Further

Chapter 14 Making a Difference: Toward a Better Future for Women Contemporary Feminism

Imagery and Attitudes Images and Stereotypes of Feminists Attitudes toward Feminism

Feminist Psychology and Social Change The Changing Face of Psychology Imagine a World … What Can One Student Do? Exploring Further


Name Index

Subject Index




As I wrote this edition of Transformations during the latter half of 2016 and the first half of 2017, the larger social and political context was very much on my mind. While I summarized the latest research on such topics as women’s leadership, backlash against competent women, sexual harassment, transgender identity, reproductive justice, and feminist activism, a presidential election campaign was being held. For the first time in American history, it pitted a male and a female candidate from the two major political parties against each other, and it was remarkably bitter and divisive.

During this time period, sexual assault and harassment were constantly in the news: Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by the genitals, and retaliated with accusations about former president Bill Clinton; Fox News head Roger Ailes was forced to resign after a longtime culture of harassment at the network was revealed; and a pending sexual assault lawsuit against Bill Cosby repeatedly made headlines. A “bathroom bill” discriminating against trans people was on, off, and on again. State legislatures and the Trump administration moved to restrict women’s reproductive rights in the U.S. and around the world. And this was just the United States. Globally, girls and women were being kidnapped and held as sex slaves by terrorist groups. Nearly two out of five female murder victims were killed by partners or former partners. Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people were female; and sex trafficking continued unabated.

As I joined the millions of people who marched in global protest on January 21, 2017, I thought: Whatever one’s stance on political or social issues, gender is still a very important category. Gender matters—to each of us as an individual, as social beings, and as citizens.

Writing this book during a period of national ferment about gender issues was a powerful experience in the importance of feminist theory, research, scholarship, and activism for the 21st century. It is more important than ever to bring accurate information to students and to help them learn how to think critically and compassionately about women’s lives. Empirical social science, interpretive analysis grounded in the lived experience of women, and critical thinking skills are tools for fighting sexism and misinformation. The research presented in this third edition of Transformations reflects my sincere effort to offer you the best of feminist psychological scholarship for your classroom.


I wrote this book originally to share my excitement about the psychology of women and gender. I chose Transformations for the title because this book explores many kinds of transformations. As I complete the third edition, the concept of transformation remains central to my thinking about this branch of psychology.

First, this book reflects the developmental transformations of a woman’s life. Each person who is labeled female at birth progresses in turn from gender-innocent infant to gender-socialized child; from girl to woman; and from young woman to old woman. The process of developing a gender identity and a sexual identity are transformative. Think too of the transformation from sexual inexperience to sexual maturity and agency, and the shift in identity that happens as a young person goes from being a student to a working adult or an older person retires from paid work. Motherhood is another profound transformation of self, roles, and behavior. And, too often, girls and women victimized by gender-based violence are forced to transform themselves from victim to survivor. Being a woman is not a static condition, but rather a dynamic, ever-shifting social construction.

A second meaning of my title reflects the transformation within psychology that made this book, and others like it, possible. In the past, women were routinely omitted from psychology textbooks, research on women was scarce or negatively biased, and women themselves encountered resistance to becoming psychologists and engaging in research and practice. Today, the psychology of women and gender is a flourishing part of psychology. The perspectives of feminist psychology have changed research, practice,


and theory in every area of psychology. Women now earn the majority of professional degrees in psychology, and most psychology departments offer courses in women and gender. These changes, which came about through feminist activism and struggle, have been astonishingly successful.

I’ve been teaching the psychology of women and gender since 1975 and writing about it for students since 1992. I’m gratified that the first two editions of Transformations were adopted by many instructors and became student favorites. After describing the book’s distinguishing features and conceptual framework, I’ll focus on what’s new in this edition.

A Focus on Multiculturalism, Diversity, and Intersectionality Throughout this book, U.S. women of color and women from other cultures are central in research and theory. This starts in Chapter 1, where Black feminist, transnational, and global feminist perspectives are introduced and gender is compared to other systems of social classification such as race and ethnicity. I define the concept of intersectionality in Chapter 1 and discuss its importance for feminist psychology, setting the stage for integrating intersectional research into topical chapters that follow. By introducing this key theoretical principle of feminist studies under a major heading, I signal its importance. In the chapters that follow, I apply intersectional analyses to such issues as micro-aggressions, minority stress, multiple oppressions, stereotype threat, sexual harassment, sex discrimination at work, and the effects of being privileged on some dimensions but not others.


The emphasis on systemic oppression continues in Chapter 2 with extended discussion of how systems of social classification are linked and mutually reinforcing. Chapter 4, The Meanings of Difference, focuses on the social dimensions that define difference and cause some groups to be evaluated as less worthy than others. Having set the theoretical framework for integrating intersectionality and a social constructionist perspective on difference, each chapter for the remainder of the book incorporates the experiences of women of diverse sexualities, ethnicities, social classes, (dis)abilities, nationalities, and ages.

Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of research being done with lesbian, gay, and transgender people; with women and men of color; with people who have disabilities; and with international populations. Integrating these dimensions of diversity throughout the book, I explore how they structure girls’ and women’s experiences including gender socialization, adult relationships, parenting, physical health, and psychological well-being.

Every chapter incorporates dimensions of diversity and explores the intersectionality of identities along these dimensions. Here are a few examples: studies of lesbian married couples (Chapter 8); ethnic diversity and sexual identities (Chapter 7); stereotypes of race/ethnicity and social class (Chapter 3); culture, ethnicity, and the expression of emotion (Chapter 4); the wage gap, workplace sex discrimination, and sexual harassment in relation to ethnicity and gender (Chapter 10); cross-cultural differences in aging and in attitudes toward the elderly (Chapter 11); sexual scripts across ethnic groups and cultures (Chapter 7); feminist therapy for diverse women (Chapter 13); disability and sexuality (Chapter 7); the diversity of women who mother, including ethnic minorities, teen mothers, trans parents, and lesbian mothers (Chapter 9); and the effects of ethnicity and social class on gender socialization (Chapter 6).

Cross-cultural perspectives are valuable for many reasons. First, they can help students learn that what seems natural, normal, and perhaps biologically ordained in their own culture is not universal. Second, they can foster critical thinking on women’s status and rights as a global problem. Finally, girls and women whose voices were formerly silenced and whose presence was invisible are now seen and heard. Textbooks like this can play a part in transforming psychology from its formerly White, middle- class North American focus into a psychology of all people. For all these reasons, I am passionate about making sure this book reflects women in all their diversity.

Gender: A Social System Linked to Status and Power Transformations presents a broad, comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding how the lives of all people, but particularly the lives of girls and women, are shaped by gender. Rather than conceiving gender as a collection of individual traits or attributes, this book presents gender as a social system that is used to categorize people and is linked to power and status.


The gender system is analyzed throughout the book at three levels: sociocultural, interpersonal, and individual. Because conceptualizing gender as a social


system is important from the start, the second chapter of the book is devoted to gender, status, and power. This chapter explains the gender system and how it works at each of the three levels and demonstrates how they are linked.

As Chapter 2 explains, at the sociocultural level men have more institutional and public power, and therefore political, religious, and normative power is concentrated largely in the hands of men. Of course, all men are not equally privileged, nor are all women equally disadvantaged. The gender system interacts with systems based on race/ethnicity, social class, heterosexuality, and other dimensions of difference. An understanding of the gender system at this level provides a context for the other levels and reduces the tendency to think of gender as mere sex differences.

At the second level of the gender system, gender is created, performed, and perpetuated in social interaction—what social constructionists call doing gender. I explore this topic not just as the social display of differences, but also as the social enactment of status and power. Gender-linked behaviors such as interrupting and smiling, for example, reflect and perpetuate women’s subordinate status.

The gender system operates at the individual level as women internalize their subordinate social status. Well-documented psychological phenomena such as denial of personal discrimination, lack of entitlement, and gendered psychological disorders such as depression can be related to internalized subordination. By conceptualizing gender as a social system operating at three levels, my goal is to provide students with an analytical tool for understanding how gender affects all our lives in both public and private domains.

Research Methods: Attention to Process From the start, this book has been based on scientific knowledge about women and gender. As in previous editions, research processes get plenty of attention. I believe it is important to show students how scientific knowledge is acquired, to help them see the methods and processes by which researchers reach their conclusions. In Chapter 1, I explain that psychological researchers use a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, and define several of the most commonly used, briefly discussing their strengths and limitations. This background prepares students for the more sophisticated discussions that follow in Chapters 1 and 4 about sources of sex bias in psychological research, the meaning of statistical significance (including what it does not mean), the role of values in psychological research, and feminist values in research.

The methodological emphasis is reinforced by another feature of this text: Research Focus boxes that zero in on a specific study showing its method, results, and importance. These boxes feature diverse methods including surveys, experiments, interviews, and case studies. In addition to these spotlighted studies, there are graphs and tables throughout the text that summarize the results of other studies. Also, when describing individual studies verbally, I report the methods and results of both classic and recent research in enough detail that students can see how the


researcher reached her conclusions. At times, I point out the limitations of a study, counter its conclusions, or discuss ethical lapses in the conduct of the research. In all these ways, my intention is to help students understand how claims about gender should be based on evidence and reasoning, and to learn to think critically about the production of knowledge.

A Positive Focus on Social Change One of the key features of this book is its positive message about social change. Studying the psychology of women and gender can be a rewarding experience for students. However, learning about sexism, discrimination, and the difficulty of changing the gender system can also be overwhelming. I have found that, even though most social science research focuses on problems, it is crucial to offer students a focus on solutions as well. In other words, it is important that students learn not only about problems created by the gender system, but also what is happening to solve them. Therefore, this book does more than focus on injustice and inequality. Every chapter ends with a section titled Making a Difference that focuses


on social change. In keeping with the organizing theoretical framework of the book, social changes at the societal/cultural, interpersonal, and individual levels are presented and evaluated. Transforming psychology, and transforming the world, toward being more woman-friendly and gender-equal is an ongoing process. A central message of this book, and one that closes each chapter, is that every student can be a part of this transformation.

New in this Edition Transformations 3e reflects the most current research and theory, with more than 600 new references since the previous edition. Here, I list highlights of new and updated topics.

Chapter 1: Paving the Way

A new section on intersectionality An introduction to transnational feminism How the use of Internet samples is reducing sampling bias in research

Chapter 2: Gender, Status, and Power

New research on “doing gender” in online communication Micro-aggressions: An intersectional perspective Backlash against agentic and ambitious women “Mansplaining,” “manologues,” and conversational dominance How to change sexist attitudes NEW BOX: Malala Yousafzai


Chapter 3: Images of Women

Updated research on sexist/nonsexist language Latest research on media images

“post-feminist” ads Latinas, African-American women female athletes in the media

An intersectional analysis of gender and ethnic stereotypes NEW BOX: The Bechdel Test (Does your Favorite Movie Pass This Handy Sexism Quiz?)

Chapter 4: The Meanings of Difference

Increased emphasis on meta-analysis, both usefulness and critique of concept of effect size, meaning of a small, medium, and large effect size moderator variables

The shrinking gender gap in math performance Intersectional approach to stereotype threat and stereotype boost Techniques for reducing or eliminating stereotype threat in vulnerable groups and equalizing opportunities for girls in math and science

Chapter 5: Sex, Gender, and Bodies

Extensively updated—still the only textbook in the field to present a social constructionist perspective on the concept of binary sex The most recent research on chromosomal and hormonal variations such as XYY syndrome, Turner syndrome, CAH


New psychiatric classification, terminology and research on intersex, transgender, fluid, genderqueer, agender, and nonbinary identities

DSM category of gender dysphoria: definition; diagnosis in children, adolescents and adults; critique New evidence for genetic links in transgender reported and evaluated Psychological outcomes of gender affirmation (formerly termed sex change) surgery Psychological adjustment in transgender individuals

Genetic influences on sexual orientation Prenatal hormone exposure (CAH) and women’s sexual orientation Transphobia, genderism, hate crimes against trans people Updated information on third-sex categories in other cultures NEW BOXES:

Genderqueer pronouns: A New User’s Guide Research Focus: Life Experiences of Intersex People Caster Semenya, Dutee Chand, and Gender Verification of Female Athletes


Chapter 6: Gendered Identities: Childhood and Adolescence

Strategies for teaching children to think critically about the stereotypical messages in their storybooks and on TV How and why some girls sustain a deviation from prescribed femininity by being “tomboys” throughout middle childhood Early sexualization of girls Meta-analyses and cross-cultural comparisons of gender and physical and relational aggression Sexual objectification in adolescent girls Sexual harassment in middle school and high school How to help adolescent girls stay “in the body” and reduce self-objectification NEW BOXES:

Little Kids Scope Out the Hidden Messages in Their Storybooks—And Come Up with Some Bright Ideas for Gender Equality The Gendered Toy Marketing Debate

Chapter 7: Sex, Love, and Romance

Chapter has been extensively updated to focus on contemporary issues Ideals of heteronormative romance vs. hookup practices (booty call, friends with benefits …) Gender differences and similarities in hookup experiences Early sexual initiation New research on the coming-out process for lesbian and bisexual women Sexual fluidity in women Intersections of ethnic and sexual identity New section on Internet dating Current research on sexual double standards Critique of abstinence-based sex education NEW BOXES:

Research Focus: Women’s Masturbation: Experiences of Sexual Empowerment in a Primarily Sex-Positive Sample Purity Balls and Virginity Pledges

Chapter 8: Commitments: Women and Close Relationships


Changing patterns of heterosexual marriage The trend toward serial cohabitation and long-term singlehood among women Lesbian couples and lesbian marriages The psychological and economic consequences of divorce NEW BOXES:

Timeline/History of Marriage Equality for Gay/Lesbian Couples Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon: A Marriage to Remember


Chapter 9: Mothering

An inclusive, intersectional perspective that includes teen mothers, single mothers, LBTQ, African- American mothers, and the place of fathers in childbirth and parenting Persistence of pronatalism and the motherhood mystique Child free by choice Infertility Updated information on abortion and attempts to restrict access Ethical issues in surrogate parenthood Attitudes toward pregnant women Risk factors for postpartum depression Family-friendly social policy and workplaces NEW BOX: Grassroots Advocacy for Women, Mothers, and Families

Chapter 10: Work and Achievement

Updated research on women’s unpaid work Housework as real work, relational work, and the two-person career

Occupational segregation, the glass ceiling Gender bias in hiring and promotion Tokenism: An intersectional analysis The importance of mentoring Expectancies, values, and career paths (Eccles’ expectancy-values theory) Achieving work-life balance NEW BOX: Women in Startup Companies and Venture Capital

Chapter 11: The Second Half: Midlife and Aging

Ageism in individualistic and collectivistic cultures Images of older women in the media Social impact of age stereotypes Current research on menopause and hormone replacement therapy Exercise and fitness in middle and later life Older women’s sexuality: from the “cougar” to old age Lesbians in later life: visibility, sexuality, adjustment, couples, retirement Role changes of later life: becoming a grandmother, losing a life partner, retirement

Chapter 12: Violence against Women

New Section, Violence and Social Media, covers revenge porn, disseminating text messages without consent, other forms of non-consensual pornography, and new legal protections against these offenses


New section, Stalking, includes cyberstalking


Updated research on rape, sexual assault, and prevention programs aimed at men NEW BOX: It’s On Us: Intervening to reduce sexual assault on campuses

Chapter 13: Psychological Disorders, Therapy, and Women’s Well-Being

Continuing the focus of earlier editions, Feminist and social constructionist approach to psychological disorders puts psychological well-being in social and historical context Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) in the DSM Objectification, ethnic group identification, and eating disorders PMDD as a culture-bound syndrome Pharmaceutical industry influence on DSM revisions NEW BOXES:

Judith Worrell: Pioneer in Feminist Therapy Prozac, Sarafem, and the Rebranding of Psycho-Pharmaceutical Drugs

Chapter 14: Making a Difference: Toward a Better Future for Women

Updated research on Ethnically diverse students’ attitudes toward feminism Feminists’ and nonfeminists’ attitudes toward men Feminist attitudes and psychological well-being in women

Transformations 3e is readable, lively, and easy to follow. It’s a student-friendly text, with a generous sprinkling of cartoons and photographs that brighten the pages. Finally, each chapter ends with “Exploring Further,” which offers new research resources, websites, and information for activism.

The third edition of Transformations: Women, Gender & Psychology, is now available online with Connect, McGraw-Hill Education’s integrated assignment and assessment platform. Connect also offers SmartBook for the new edition, which is the first adaptive reading experience proven to improve grades and help students study more effectively. All of the title’s website and ancillary content is also available through Connect, including:

A full Test Bank of multiple choice questions that test students on central concepts and ideas in each chapter. An Instructor’s Manual for each chapter with full chapter outlines, sample test questions, and discussion topics. Lecture Slides for instructor use in class and downloadable RAP forms.








Writing a textbook is a daunting task. I could not have done it without the support of family, friends, and colleagues.

Annie B. Fox, PhD, wrote chapter 12, on gender-based violence, and updated Chapter 13, Psychological Disorders, Therapy, and Women’s Well-Being. Annie also conceived and wrote most of the lively text boxes that appear throughout the book. Thank you, Annie, for taking an increasing role in Transformations 3e, applying your classroom experience and psychological expertise to make it better than ever.

Chapter 13 was previously contributed by Britain Scott, who could not participate in this edition due to other commitments. Britain’s expertise remains visible in the innovative social constructionist approach, historical sweep, and approachable style of Chapter 13. I thank Britain again for her many contributions to the first two editions.

Christy Starr, graduate student at University of California Santa Cruz, was a capable and hardworking research assistant for this edition and also contributed the section on sexualization of girls in Chapter 6. Thank you, Christy, for your dedication to the project, feminist ideals, and strong work ethic. Thanks to Dawn M. Brown, graduate student at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, who offered guidance on gender identity terminology and pronoun use. Working with these strong and capable younger women gives me renewed hope that the feminist transformation of society will continue.

Thanks to Julia and David Apgar, Ben Chaffin, and Annie Duong for providing the photos of their dressed-up kids in Chapter 6, and to Alex Olson, a student at Normandale Community College in Minnesota, who helped me select the many new photographs that illustrate this edition.

I am grateful to the publishing pros at McGraw-Hill: Product Developer Francesca King, Portfolio Manager Jamie Laferrera, Content Licencing Specialist Melisa Seegmiller, and at ansrsource, Developmental Editor Anne Sheroff, and Photo Researcher Jennifer Blankenship.

I would also like to thank the pre-publication reviewers for this edition who generously provided me with feedback: John M. Adams, University of Alabama; Grace Deason, University of Wisconsin—La Crosse; Alishia Huntoon, Oregon Institute of Technology; Jamie Franco-Zamudio, Spring Hill College; Jennifer Katz, SUNY Geneseo; Shannon Quintana, Miami Dade College; Christine Smith, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Megan L. Strain, University of Nebraska at Kearney; and Katherine Urquhart, University of Central Florida.

I thank, too, the friends and family who put up with the absent-mindedness and crankiness of a writer in the throes of a big project, especially my partner Roger Chaffin. Because Roger is an accomplished cognitive psychologist, our dialogues about my work are helpful and constructive. He is there with day-to-day encouragement and tech support. Most important, because he is committed to an egalitarian relationship, I enjoy a balanced life of work and family, full of love, laughter, music, and adventure. Thank you, Roger.

Mary Crawford



Part 1







Chapter 1



Paving the Way

• Beginnings How Did the Psychology of Women Get Started? Psychology and the Women’s Movement Voices from the Margins: A History

• What Is Feminism? Feminism Has Many Meanings Is There a Simple Definition?

• Methods and Values in Psychological Research Psychology’s Methods Toward Gender-Fair Research Feminist Values in Research

• Intersectionality

• About This Book

• A Personal Reflection

• Exploring Further


This book is called Transformations. I hope you find this title intriguing. I chose it because we are living in an era when opportunities for girls and women have changed dramatically, and psychology has played a part in those changes. Still, gender equality is a transformation that is not yet complete. Consider the current situation:

Only 19 percent of the U.S. Congress and 12 percent of state governors are women. In the United States, women earn about 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. Worldwide, the difference is even greater—women earn only about 52 percent of what men earn. The United Nations estimates that 115 million women are missing from the global population—dead because, as females, they were unwanted. Women have been heads of state in 70 countries around the world, yet in others they lack basic human rights such as going to school.

Although some things have changed for the better, a worldwide wage gap, under-representation of women in positions of status and power, and significant problems of violence against girls and women persist. Gender, sexuality, and power are at the core of social controversies around the world.

Beginnings We are living in an era in which nothing about women, sexuality, and gender seems certain. Entering this arena of change, psychology has developed research and theory about women and gender. This branch of psychology is usually called feminist psychology, the psychology of women, or the psychology of gender (Russo & Dumont, 1997). Those who use the term feminist psychology tend to emphasize theoretical connections to women’s studies and social activism. Those who use psychology of women tend to focus on women’s lives and experiences as the topics of study. Those who use psychology of


gender tend to focus on the social and biological processes that create differences between women and men. This book includes all these perspectives and uses all three terms. There is a lot to learn about this exciting field.

How Did the Psychology of Women Get Started?

As the women’s movement of the late 1960s made women and gender a central social concern, the field of psychology began to examine the bias that had characterized its knowledge about women. The more closely psychologists looked at the ways psychology had thought about women, the more problems they saw. They began to realize that women had been left out of many studies. Even worse, theories were constructed from a male-as-norm viewpoint, and women’s behavior was explained as a deviation from the male standard. Often, stereotypes of women went unchallenged. Good psychological adjustment for women was defined in terms of fitting into traditional feminine norms—marrying, having babies, and not being too independent or ambitious.

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