INCLUDING DIVERSE WOMEN IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM: REASONS AND RESOURCES --------------------------------------------------------------- Prepared by the Task Force on Representation in the Curriculum of the Division of the Psychology of Women of the American Psychological Association May 1995 Task Force Chairs: Margaret Madden and Hazel Spears, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI 54912 Members of the Task Force: Joan Chrisler, Diane Felicio, Ellen Kimmel, Agnes O'Connell, Karen Wyche. The Task Force would like to thank Martha Banks, Paula Caplan, and Gwendolyn Keita for their helpful comments on prior drafts of this booklet. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Why Is Lack of Representation a Problem? If "academic" is used in its traditional sense, i.e., "unaware of the outside world," and "without practical purpose or intention," the study and practice of psychology is more than an "academic" discipline. Since its separation from one of its parent disciplines, philosophy, over 100 years ago, psychology has sought to become a legitimate science, one able to dispel falsehood with fact, replace inefficacy with competence, and clarify misunderstanding with insight. Some argue that psychology has achieved its goal, although the point is certainly under debate (e.g., Bevan & Kessel, 1994). Government, the media, individuals, and society in general look to the field of psychology to guide pressing issues of social policy and organization, develop human potential, achieve and sustain mental health, and address legal issues. Psychology has become an "authority," and, as such, wields considerable power in the formation of public and private opinion, legal decision making, and, indirectly, upon the behavior that springs from those opinions. Because psychology has such a great capacity to influence thought and behavior, it is paramount that psychologists strive to be accurate and relevant to meet the needs of the individual and society. These criteria also must be met in courses for undergraduates. ACCURACY. The science of psychology is inaccurate when White women and people of Color are not included. When textbooks fail to present what is known about those groups, they reflect neither reality nor the current state of the field of psychology. Research that includes only a limited group fails to inform us about the variety and complexity of human behavior. RELEVANCE. Students are less likely to relate to a science that does not acknowledge their existence or concerns. Irrelevant material is less meaningful and therefore harder to learn and apply to daily living. The inclusion of diversity in the teaching of undergraduate psychology can transform both the discipline of psychology and the larger society it influences. It promotes healthy acceptance of difference, revitalizes psychology, and increases the potential of recruiting diverse people into the field. PROMOTING TOLERANCE OF DIFFERENCE. When people are invisible, hate and intolerance are, both intentionally and inadvertently, perpetuated (Roy, 1993). Homophobia, sexism, racism, and elitism are condoned implicitly when they are not acknowledged. TRANSFORMATION AND REVITALIZATION Analyses of the content and methodology of psychology and other sciences by feminist psychologists and others have already begun to transform the field. Failure to mention these analyses in textbooks encourages the notion that they are illegitimate, peripheral, and unimportant. Yet, many authors have noted that inclusiveness is the future of the field. Textbooks that remain exclusive fail to convey some of the most vital and exciting aspects of the discipline (Conti & Kimmel, 1993). RECRUITMENT INTO PSYCHOLOGY. If students note that they are not represented in psychology and issues of significance to them are not addressed, they will be less inclined to go into the field. The implication that most psychologists are White and/or male or that psychologists are only concerned about questions with direct application to White males may discourage some women and members of other underrepresented groups from entering the field (Peterson & Kroner, 1992; Whitten, 1993). This perpetuates the problem; unrepresented people will continue to be unrepresented as psychologists and, in research, the data base needed to be inclusive will be developed more slowly. This is not to say that only women or people of Color are capable of doing research on their respective groups. However, the recruitment and inclusion of such researchers increases the likelihood that greater and more intimate access to these underrepresented populations can be gained, and that paradigms other than those of pathology may be proposed (White, 1991). Insight born of experience and empathic concern may lead such minority researchers (and others) to more complex and accurate analyses of issues germane to people who have been only the subject, and not the originators, of the research that seeks to explain their subjective thoughts, feelings, and behavior to others. The issue is comparable to reading books about New York written either by natives or visitors. While it is important for both types of authors to be aware of their biases, it would be difficult for a visitor to duplicate the expertise of the native without sustained and arduous effort. Most readers would be aware of this fact in ascribing credibility to one author over the other. ORIGIN AND SCOPE OF UNDERREPRESENTATION EXCLUSION. The work of women or psychologists of Color too often is not included in historical accounts. Likewise, research examining issues of particular interest to women and minorities has been seen as unimportant. Early work by women psychologists who examined, for example, the relationship between menstruation and learning ability, menstruation and performance, or the effects of nursery school upon the cognitive development of the child have not been seen as noteworthy (Katz, 1991). Theory and research attempting to corroborate the inferiority of people of Color has a long history (Gould, 1981; McDougall, 1921; Whitten, 1993). But there is also a record of repeated and successful efforts to refute race-based theories of inferiority, such as Searle's 1949 finding that rats bred for superior maze- running ability did only that, run mazes faster, rather than demonstrating an increase in general intelligence as prior researchers had suggested (cited in Guthrie, 1976). When works such as these are not recognized or included in historical accounts, current research cannot build on an established base and knowledge development is hindered. As regards the inclusion of women, frequently only "exceptional women" are included in the record, the apparent criteria being that these women investigated the "important" issues (those that concern men), used the "correct" methods (those preferred by men), and made "correct" interpretations (Rosser, 1990). The inclusion of only a few women who meet males' standards of acceptance implies that any woman who is "good enough" can make it, ignoring the variability of women's experiences, particularly that of class and other circumstances of birth, that create greater opportunity for some individuals to overcome barriers. Concerted efforts are currently being made to re-incorporate the women missing from the record, often by way of historical focus (see O'Connell & Russo, 1983, 1988, 1991; Russo & Denmark, 1987), or by examining the personality characteristics of "exceptional" women that enabled them to succeed. While these efforts are needed and appropriate, Lott (1991) warned that the task of inclusion must not end there. In fact, if attention is focused solely on the work of "exceptional" women, or the unique personality factors that are instrumental in those deemed as "successful" women, several negative implications can result. First, such limited attention may imply that only extraordinary women are capable of achievement worth widespread recognition. Second, focusing on the personality characteristics of women who are doctors, managers, scientists, or academics may suggest that only women who venture forth in areas traditionally preserved for men are of interest. Last, when only the personality characteristics of such exceptional women, and not the context within which their work is executed, is examined, it may tend to reinforce the belief that it is only the individual's ability that controls accomplishment, and that such factors as ethnicity, class, gender, and opportunity have little impact. As Scarborough and Furumoto (1987) observed in their investigation of talented women who did not achieve recognition in their fields, structural obstacles such as sexism (i.e., the belief in female inferiority) kept many brilliant, talented, and motivated women from accomplishing what they might have if those obstacles did not exist. In many textbooks, work on issues that particularly concern women (i.e., violence against women, pregnancy, sexual harassment) is virtually absent, implying that those issues are not important (Conti & Kimmel, 1993). Yet, half the population is comprised of women, and to nullify the value of their experiences is to commit an act of glaring omission. The treatment of issues relevant to minority populations parallels that of gender issues. James Jones reports that between 1969 and 1980, only 11.2% of the articles published in the seven major social psychology journals addressed race, ethnicity, or culture. In those, most of the subjects were White (e.g., investigations of prejudice), or were studies once again comparing scores of Blacks to norms defined by White respondents (Jones, 1991). In excluding the experiences of African Americans from mainstream psychological research, researchers have not only fallen prey to labeling as deviant that with which they are unfamiliar, but have also lost the opportunity to increase understanding of other groups who have suffered discrimination, such as women, homosexuals, and the disabled (Reid, 1993; Whitten, 1993). MISREPRESENTATION. From its inception, there has been no shortage of psychological research that concentrated on finding evidence of female inferiority (Shields, 1975). Later, the minimal attention given to women beyond searching for inferiority detailed how their maladaptive behavior was due to poor self-concepts, motives and fears peculiar to women, with the implication that women should be encouraged to behave more like men (Crawford & Marecek, 1989). As has long been observed in investigations of racism, stereotypes are not formulated by repeated and accurate observation of behavior, but rather arise to justify, rationalize, or explain the unequal treatment of persons of certain groups (Caplan, 1989; Hoffman & Hurst, 1990). Scientific advance is also slowed because women and researchers of Color are repeatedly called upon to stop other work to refute biased findings resulting from racist and sexist research and theory. However, given that much research time and effort has been spent dismantling strongly held but inaccurate stereotypes, that research should be a part of the lower-level curriculum in psychology. For example, studies should be mentioned that provide evidence that many stereotypically "feminine" feelings and behavior are not gender related, such as Snodgrass' (1985) work showing that status (leader vs. subordinate), not "women's intuition," predicts sensitivity to the impression one makes on one's partner. METHODOLOGY. The ideas of a "neutral observer" and "value free" science are ones whose time have passed. The feminist critique of how science has been conducted reveals omissions, distortions, and suppression of information. Feminist researchers have been instrumental in pointing out that science is done by humans and is inescapably affected by the historical, political, and social context in which such research takes place (e.g., Lott, 1991). The second wave of the feminist revolution in the early 1970s signaled the beginning of the questioning of androcentric (i.e., male-centered) science. Prior to the 1970's, researchers typically had focused upon comparisons of women with men, with the assumption that male behavior is the norm or standard by which all must be measured. Theorists who automatically assumed the existence of a dichotomy between male and female characteristics, such as reason/emotion, aggressive/passive, and independent/dependent have predominated, along with the assumption that there is a more desirable half of the dichotomy which is characteristic of men. The presentation of men's behavior as normative and women's behavior as pathological not only portrays a simplistic view of science, but it also reinforces stereotypes (Peterson & Kroner, 1992). Biased theories lead to biased question framing. Research questions all too often cast the "typical" feminine behavior as problematic. For instance, instead of examining "the problem" of females' passivity, why not investigate the problem of males' hurtful aggressiveness (Crawford & Marecek, 1989)? Why does research on dependence and independence focus on "the problem" of women's dependence and not on limitations of men's strong need for independence (Siegel, 1988)? Another example of research based on a biased perspective is the longstanding debate on the heritability of intelligence. A massive amount of work has been dedicated to finding a genetic basis for the IQ differences found between Black and White populations (Eysenck, 1973; Herrnstein, 1971; Jensen, 1969; Murray & Herrnstein, 1994). An equally committed group of researchers has been occupied with fighting an apparently never-ending battle to expose the ideological, methodological, and statistical flaws of this research (Kamin, 1974; Lewontin, Rose, & Kamin, 1984; Montague, 1975; Samudi, 1975; Scarr & Weinberg, 1976). Students need to be informed that there are biases in the field and learn ways to reduce or avoid them. The failure to discuss the methodological difficulties involved in not representing women or people of Color is particularly problematic with undergraduates, who tend to accept at face value that findings derived from studies of White men apply equally to all people or that the source of the problem is female behavior or group pathology (Peterson & Kroner, 1992). Allen and Boykin (1991) point out that the typical nomothetic, or generalization seeking, orientation of most research ignores the fact that different cultural groups may respond to similar stimuli in different ways. For example, Boykin's research on cultural differences in preferred learning context reveals that White children learn better in an environment low in movement expression and African American children perform better when stimuli are presented to the beat of rhythmic-percussive music or high movement expressive context (Allen & Boykin, 1991). DISENGAGEMENT. Although many scholars disagree about both the origin and the resolution of the current crisis in education, few disagree that a crisis is taking place. High attrition rates, the failure of the sciences to attract more women, the failure of schools at all levels to educate students of Color, and falling SAT scores nationwide attest to the fact that education, which by its nature should be a meaningful, enjoyable, and useful experience, has lost its attractiveness to many students. Some scholars advocate a "back to the basics," or "back to the classics" approach (e.g., Bloom, 1987); others suggest that it is precisely the limited vision and exclusionary nature of the traditional educational approach that precipitated the current crisis (e.g., Rosser, 1990). When students are not being asked to look at how our society and the larger world beyond it works, or to take any responsibility for shaping society, education loses its relevance and operates merely as a mechanism to maintain the status quo, i.e., White, male, upper and middle class privilege. However, it is no longer possible, or even desirable, to ignore the connections between our behavior and our outcomes, in society overall and in education specifically. Analysis of demographic trends shows that it is imperative for women of all groups and men of Color to obtain the training required to fill the needs of the twenty-first century workplace and to participate actively in restructuring a more equitable society able to meet the needs of all of its citizens. How effective have courses been which are geared to meet the needs of previously underrepresented groups? Compared with women who have not taken a class in the psychology of women (or psychology of gender), women who have taken such a class show higher levels of self-esteem, greater job motivation, and greater confidence in their ability to do the job (Stake & Gerber, 1987). In her course on the Psychology of Oppression, Aaronette White reports an overall rating of 4.88 (out of a possible 5), with many of the students suggesting it was one of the most significant, relevant, and worthwhile courses of their college careers (White, 1994). Thus, inclusion appears to have a positive impact on students. STAGNATION. Sometimes graduate students lament that the major questions in psychology already have been examined and there is no potential for revolutionary, ground breaking theory development in the field. However, feminists' re-examination of the discipline suggests instead that we are on the threshold of a major revolution in all of the sciences, a revolution prompted by the realization that the exclusion of research concerning women and people of Color is no mere oversight but a result of the devaluation of these populations and others. It is misleading at best, and sexist, racist, and elitist at worst, to refuse to acknowledge relationships among gender, race, and class characteristics and participants' behavior in research studies, as if gender, race, and class are merely descriptive characteristics that "happen to occur" for some members of the population. Researchers who are feminist and/or people of Color have identified gender, race, and class as significant stimulus variables, i.e., they operate as "cues" that direct thinking and behavior (Jones, 1991; Lott, 1991). Numerous studies have shown that common human behavior, when exhibited by a stigmatized group, e.g., women, African Americans, or poor people, is interpreted in a completely different light than when exhibited by White, middle-class males. Race, class, and gender must be recognized as the unspoken yet fundamental basis of social organization that structure social relations, particularly power relationships among groups (Crawford & Marecek, 1989). One example of research that goes beyond describing variables in isolation is Gardner's (1980) investigation of how "street remarks" between unacquainted men and women serve to reinforce female vulnerability. Another example is Ogbu's (1978) cross- cultural study showing that IQ can be predicted by whether one is a member of a socially stigmatized group, defined as a group ostracized by society and living in poverty. Rather than examining isolated variables, this research seeks to comprehend the underlying interaction of these variables upon each other in real-life, human contexts. As the social construction of science becomes increasingly clear and difficult to disavow, it becomes imperative to attract and train members of more heterogeneous groups. Other viewpoints are likely to prompt different questions, generate new theories and research methods, and ultimately, lead to different conclusions (Rosser, 1990). Application. Because psychologists attempt to tell us who and what we are, research has social implications. Because theories of human behavior are generated by human beings, there is a relationship between the researchers and the population under investigation. Because the practice of psychology is conducted within a cultural milieu, doing research is a political act. The critique mandates that we acknowledge these realities and respond accordingly, for to ignore them is to continue to operate in silent collusion with an oppressive social hierarchy that denies people the information and remedies needed to promote their well- being. As O'Connell and Russo (1991) reaffirm in their explication of the old adage, "knowledge is power": Knowledge of women's heritage in psychology can be a personal defense against sexism, an instrument for social change, and a catalyst for efforts to transform the discipline. Personal and intellectual benefits include inspiration and enhanced self- identity. Knowledge can help us understand the complex power relationships and gate keeping processes in the discipline and in society so that social change and efforts can be targeted effectively (p. 496). Psychology, like any field of study, identifies the information it deems important to pass on to students and future practitioners. Women's lives, our thinking, behavior, experiences, and outcomes, provide an abundant source of information from which we would all benefit, as individuals and as a society. As Carolyn Wood Sherif (1982) stated, "Study of the problems associated with the subjugation of women is essential to understanding behavior of both men and women. Without it, psychology cannot call itself a science of human experience and behavior" (pp. 394-395). In changing times and conditions, positions by and about minority groups may be fresher, more elegant, or more realistic than those of the majority. Attention to those who have been underrepresented forces psychologists to attend to discrepancies between past research and the current state of the world, creating the conditions for a profound change in the status quo (Latane & Wolf, 1981). THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM Researchers have documented the poor representation of women of all groups and men of Color, and issues relevant to gender and ethnicity in textbooks. In a review of twenty-seven introductory psychology textbooks and twelve top-selling developmental psychology textbooks, Peterson and Kroner (1992) report that even women who were prominent in the history of the discipline are rarely mentioned in the history sections of the books. In overviews of contemporary psychology, the impression created by examples and illustrations is that psychology is almost exclusively a male domain. Illustrations in introductory texts portray women less often than men, portray women in passive contexts more than in active contexts, and use females more often than men to illustrate pathologies and clients in therapy. Research methods sections of introductory and developmental texts fail to identify gender as an important factor in performing or evaluating research. Reports of research rarely cite the gender of participants, referring mostly to men when they do. None of the textbooks examined discussed the danger of generalizing from one gender to another or to the population as a whole. Gender differences in research results were also rarely mentioned. The only general area in which there was significant improvement in textbooks was in language: no textbooks used male pronouns to refer to both genders and most use appropriate pronouns, plural forms, or neutral terms to refer to people. Conti and Kimmel (1993) extended the Peterson and Kroner (1992) study by conducting a line- by-line content analysis of the same twelve developmental texts. They counted the average length of text on gender differences, gender role development, and life events unique to women (e.g., menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, violence against women, and sexism.) Only one topic of the sixty-seven evaluated, gender role development, received more than a paragraph in the texts and most topics were mentioned with only a few lines. Many topics were omitted completely from most texts. Sex of the author made no difference in coverage. Research on people of Color was virtually absent from all the texts. There were only twenty-five mentions of people of Color, of which three were specifically about girls or women. Conti and Kimmel (1993) also asked two experts on the psychology of women, both editors of feminist journals, to rate each text's section on gender role development on the extent to which it included feminist theory and data. Only one text received a high rating from both reviewers. Bronstein and Paludi (1988) found that introductory textbooks showed some improvement in inclusiveness between 1981 and 1988. For example, ten of thirteen had some discussion of gender roles, but only four mentioned other sociocultural factors in socialization. The authors also pointed out that content reflected stereotypically male domains, e.g., cognitive processes are covered in four or five chapters, emotional processes were covered in a section of one chapter on motivation; aggression was discussed in an average of seven subheadings, altruism had one; and rape was mentioned in only two of the thirteen texts. Only half of the texts had a discussion of racism, sexism, or prejudice, and most placed little emphasis on the social context in which individuals function. Lott (1988) indicated that the inclusion of African American and other ethnic minority groups in social psychology journals and in presentations at APA conventions decreased after 1973, as did the emphasis on cultural contexts for behavior (Jones, 1983; Pedersen & Inouye, 1984). Denmark (1994) reviewed twenty textbooks in introductory, social, developmental and abnormal psychology and found that the inclusion of women psychologists had improved since a previous study in 1983. Most introductory, social, and developmental books discussed gender roles, socialization, and other topics related to gender, but abnormal books discussed fewer such topics than the other books and feminist approaches to therapy were virtually absent. Discussions of women almost exclusively referred to research on White women, failing to mention the influence of ethnicity. An analysis by the Task Force on the Treatment of Gender in Psychology Textbooks of Division 35 of the American Psychological Association (1993) showed that, although overtly sexist language and statistics have been eliminated from introductory, lifespan developmental, educational, and statistics books, research on women and feminist research analysis are not yet well represented. Furthermore, people of Color are still virtually invisible in these texts. When females are mentioned, they are typically White; race is most often represented with discussions or illustrations of males of Color. The life experiences of women of Color were mentioned only four times in all of the texts surveyed. Only two of the texts were rated as exceptional in their representation of feminist interpretations of gender role development. Hence, although the content of lower level textbooks has improved somewhat over the years, it still fails to portray women and other underrepresented groups well (see also Conti & Kimmel, 1993). EXAMPLES OF MATERIAL ON DIVERSE GROUPS This section gives just a few of a vast number of examples of material, discussion questions, and resources useful for lower level survey courses in psychology. Although not an exhaustive list of possibilities, use of these suggestions would increase substantially the representation of women, ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups in a course. History Material to Introduce 1. Discuss discrimination against women of all backgrounds and men of Color as a facet of the history of psychology. For example, Christine Ladd- Franklin and Mary Whiton Calkins fulfilled requirements for doctorates (Ladd-Franklin at Johns Hopkins in 1882 and Calkins at Harvard in 1892), but were refused degrees because they were women; women were often unacknowledged collaborators or primary authors of psychological tests; and only two Presidents of the American Psychological Association were women in its first 80 years, despite the fact that a significant proportion of the association was female (see O'Connell & Russo, 1988, 1990, 1991; Quina, 1987; Russo, 1982; Scarborough, 1988; Scarborough & Furomoto, 1987). 2. Women who are members of ethnic minorities have faced double discrimination in psychology. It was not until 1933 that Inez Prosser received the first doctorate given to an African American woman, an Ed.D. in educational psychology. In 1934, Ruth Howard was the first African American woman to be awarded the Ph.D. in psychology. Between 1920 and 1950, 32 doctorates were awarded to African Americans, but only 8 of these went to women (O'Connell & Russo, 1990). 3. Describe important women and ethnic minority men psychologists, giving some examples and references for more information. Among individuals who might be mentioned include Mary Whiton Calkins, Mamie Phipps Clark, Kenneth Clark, Eleanor Jack Gibson, Leta Stetter Hollingworth, Ruth Howard, Maria Montessori, Carolyn Robertson Payton, and Margaret Floy Washburn (see Bronstein & Quina, 1988; Committee on Women in Psychology, 1986; O'Connell & Russo, 1983, 1988, 1990; Russo & Denmark, 1987). 4. Mental health theories were used to justify segregation, and treatments of various kinds have been applied inequitably on the basis of gender and race. For example, psychosurgery is used disproportionately with African Americans (Kaplan, 1983; Landrine, 1988). Discussion Questions and Exercises 1. How would psychology look different if ethnic minorities had been represented earlier in its history? 2. How would psychology look different if women had been represented better in its history? 3. Given the history of various groups in American society, what are some research questions that might have been asked had psychology been more inclusive? For instance, would psychology have been different if African Americans had been represented early in the century, if Japanese Americans had been represented during and after World War II, or if poor people had been represented during the Depression? 4. How would psychology have viewed motherhood differently if women had been better represented in the field (Caplan, 1989)? 5. Students today may not realize that discrimination against Jews was common in academe in the early part of this century. Discuss this in light of the experiences of women such as Mary Henle and Edna Heidbreder (O'Connell & Russo, 1983, 1990). Research Methods Material to Introduce 1. Describe recent methodological advances, such as qualitative research techniques, and the roles they can play in making psychology more inclusive and diverse. Include a discussion of the impact of the social and political context of research and the need for methods broader than the laboratory experiment to understand phenomena (Crawford & Marecek, 1989; Fine & Gordon, 1989; Reinharz, 1984; Rosser, 1990). 2. Discuss the absence of representation of various groups as a problem, with relevant examples and suggestions (Quina & Kulberg, 1988; Tavris, 1992). 3. Discuss the interpretation of group differences in research. Often, differences between groups are misinterpreted in that a) it is assumed that membership in a group causes the difference, ignoring sociocultural factors that might contribute, and b) the notion that significant differences between groups are interpreted to imply that the difference is exclusive, i.e., the overlap between groups and variability within groups is ignored in the research reports (Caplan & Caplan, 1994; Eagly, 1987; Hare-Mustin & Marecek, 1988; Hyde & Linn, 1986, 1988; Tavris, 1992; Unger & Crawford, 1992). 4. Discuss the role of the statistical tradition of hypothesis testing, e.g., that we can speak only of significant differences, not similarity. This emphasizes differences and encourages psychologists to think dichotomously. In addition, the term "statistically significant" should not be considered synonymous with "meaningful" (Caplan & Caplan, 1994; Hyde & Linn, 1986, 1988). 5. Discuss how bias in theory and research hypotheses and methodology emanating from theory has shaped the discussion of certain areas, such as differences among races (Bronfenbrenner, 1977; Gould, 1981; Unger, 1983; Wittig, 1985). Discussion Questions and Short Exercises 1. Identify a study cited in your textbook, read it carefully, and analyze the limitations in representation and how this might affect the interpretation of the results. Ask students to do the same, with studies you or they select. 2. Rephrase research questions that are biased, for instance, "What causes heterosexuality?" or "What causes sexuality?" as opposed to "What causes homosexuality?" 3. Have students discuss the limitations of comparative research in studies that find group differences. For example, a) Men have higher math ability than women; b) Women have higher verbal ability than men; c) African Americans score lower on IQ tests than other groups; and d) Asian Americans score higher on math SATs than other groups do (Caplan & Caplan, 1994; Hacker, 1986; Hyde & Linn, 1986, 1988). 4. Berrera, Zautra, and Baca (1984) demonstrated that research on stress is particularly prone to cultural bias. Discuss how scales designed to assess stress that are normed for one culture might be completely inappropriate for another (e.g., Holmes & Rahe, 1967). Give examples of events found on such scales, and discuss cultural differences (e.g., divorce, single parenting, death of a child, unemployment). 5. Ask students to find examples of popular articles or books that describe gender differences in human behavior and evaluate the methods used to determine that gender differences exist. Discuss why there may be societal pressure to generalize about gender differences from limited or faulty research (Tavris, 1992). Physiological Psychology Material to Introduce 1. Discuss gender differences in the brain. Are implications for daily performance (or the absence of such implications) and controversies about such research included in your textbook's discussion of this (Bleier, 1984; Rosser, 1986; Villars, 1983)? 2. Discuss your textbook's treatment of hormonal influences. For example, is the debate about premenstrual syndrome mentioned (Caplan, 1993)? Are the effects of behavior on hormones described, as well as the reverse (Bleier, 1984; Tavris, 1992; Villars 1983; Villars, 1988)? 3. In your textbook's discussion of heredity and environment, is the impact of environmental factors mentioned when biological influence is demonstrated? For instance, in discussions of heritability of IQ or other characteristics associated with race, how are differences in ethnic subcultures or gender dealt with (Gould, 1981, Villars, 1988)? Complex social, psychological, cognitive, and biological factors interact to determine behavior and must be discussed as such (Villars, 1988). 4. Biological rationalizations of racism are common in the history of psychology (Lewontin, Rose, & Kamin, 1984). Discuss why biological explanations may be attractive to those who hold prejudices against a particular group. Discussion Questions and Exercises 1. In your textbook's treatment of sexual orientation, is "What causes it?" the only issue considered (King, 1988; Roy, 1993)? Is heterosexuality described as normative while the cause of only homosexuality is questioned? Discuss why considering only this question reflects a cultural bias. 2. Are sexuality, gender roles, sexual preference, and transsexualism confused? Are they treated only as biological variables? (See King, 1988, and Villars, 1988.) Consider the differences among these factors. 3. Propose some research questions that might challenge stereotypically phrased questions, for example, "Are men emotionally unpredictable because their hormonal cycles are less predictable than women's?" instead of "Do women's menstrual cycles make them moody?" or "Is Asian Americans' higher performance on mathematics tests a result of greater left hemisphere development?" instead of "Is African Americans' lower performance on mathematics tests a result of genetic inferiority?" 4. Discuss implications of research on hemispheric lateralization of brain functions. If research does support the notion that women have greater hemispheric lateralization, does this mean that they are less able to be architects or engineers because of their "less developed" right hemispheres (Caplan, McPherson, & Tobin, 1985)? 5. Use the example of aggression to discuss complex factors affecting behavior. Outline biological, individual, and societal factors that may affect aggressiveness. How might these factors contribute to gender differences in aggressiveness? (See Tobach & Rosoff, 1994.) Developmental Psychology Material to Introduce 1. If gender role development is not considered in your textbook, introduce some of the voluminous research in this area (e.g., Bem, 1993; Block, 1984; Paludi, 1991; Serbin, 1993). If gender role development is considered, is current research cited? Are there implicit assumptions devaluing girls' and women's experiences? Are traumatic adolescent and adult experiences of women discussed, such as sexual assault and violence (Koss, 1985; Walker, 1987) or pregnancy and other reproductive health issues (Hackel & Ruble, 1992; Madden, 1994; Travis, 1988)? 2. Are issues of specific concern to ethnic minorities mentioned in your textbook? Is the impact of poverty, racism, etc. considered (Carr & Mednick, 1988; Martinez & Mendoza, 1984; McAdoo & McAdoo, 1985; Spencer, Brookins, & Allen, 1985; Sue & Morishima, 1982; Zill, 1985)? 3. Is "coming out" as a developmental issue discussed in your textbook (Paul, Weinrich, Gonsiorek, & Hotveldt, 1982; Wolfe & Stanley, 1980)? Discuss the impact on adolescents who are struggling with sexual orientation as well as more general gender identity issues in a homophobic society (McCord & Herzog, 1991). 4. Ethnic variations in family values affect children's development in important ways. For instance, the strong emphasis on family values of Mexican Americans suggests different patterns of social support for single mothers than that of African American or European American single mothers (Wagner & Schaffer, 1980). Also, those values affect socialization of male and female children in important ways, e.g., adolescent girls blend traditional and modern values more than stereotypes of passive girls suggest (Carr & Mednick, 1988; Long & Vigil, 1980; Melville, 1980; Vasquez & Baron, 1988). 5. Ethnic groups are often bicultural (Martinez & Mendoza, 1984). Generational differences among recent immigrants may create various conflicts for children. Gender role conflict is one form of conflict that bicultural people may experience. Ethnicity and social class may also interact to create conflict for young people (Banks, 1984). How do these interactions affect development? Discussion Questions and Exercises 1. What are the limitations of Kohlberg's (1981) and Gilligan's (1982) research on moral development? How do the ways in which their data were gathered limit the interpretation of the results? 2. How might being bicultural affect one's upbringing in terms of self-esteem, scholastic achievement, and social development? 3. How would racism affect elementary school children's social adjustment or academic performance? 4. How would gender stereotypes affect adolescents' social adjustment or performance in school? 5. Consider the triple influences of being old, female, and Mexican American (Stephens, Oser, & Blau, 1980). Why might elderly Mexican American women be more prone to poverty, poor health, and to perceive themselves as old than Mexican American men or European American women? Abnormal Psychology Material to Introduce 1. Discuss the debate about self-defeating personality disorder, using it as an example of the sociopolitical factors that are involved in diagnosis (Caplan, 1985; Walker, 1987). 2. Review the recommendations for psychological practice with diverse populations in the American Psychological Association's ethical principles (American Psychological Association, 1992). Note Principle D: Psychologists are aware of cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status (p. 1599). And Section 2.04: Psychologists attempt to identify situations in which particular interventions or assessment techniques or norms may not be applicable or may require adjustment in administration or interpretation because of factors such as individuals' gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status (p. 1603). 3. There is a higher incidence of depression among Chicana than among other groups of women (Amaro & Russo, 1987; Martinez & Mendoza, 1984; Melville, 1980; Vasquez & Baron, 1988). Use this example to discuss the effect of culture on the incidence or diagnosis of disorders. 4. Landrine (1988) argues that the diagnosis of schizophrenia, more frequent among African Americans, reinforces stereotypes and leads to significant discrimination. Use this example to discuss the ramifications of diagnosis that is confounded with gender, class, or ethnic variables. 5. Discuss changing views of homosexuality in the DSM and research showing that lesbians and gay men are no more represented in categories of maladaptive behavior than heterosexuals (Diamant & Simono, 1987; Tavris, 1992). Use this as the basis for a discussion of the oversimplification of models of sexual orientation that are dichotomous (homosexual vs. heterosexual) or even trichotomous (homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual; Coleman, 1988). Discussion Questions and Exercises 1. Discuss the mental health effects of violence against women (Koss, 1985; Walker, 1987). 2. Give descriptions of diagnostic categories and have students guess the sociocultural characteristics of the groups. Landrine (1988) found that respondents were able to identify accurately characteristics of people normative of various diagnostic categories, concluding that stereotypic expectations determine diagnoses applied to individuals. Discuss the implications for perceptions of causal factors in "mental health problems." 3. Is a gender role analysis (Gibson, 1992) included in the discussion of disorders that show gender differences, e.g., anorexia (Franks, 1986), depression (Landrine, 1988; McGrath, Keita, Strickland, & Russo, 1990), substance abuse (Williams & Spitzer, 1983), suicide (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1989), and sociopathic personality (Kaplan, 1983; Regier et al., 1988)? 4. Discuss how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder pertains to rape victims and urban victims of violence, including children, as well as to Vietnam veterans. Discuss interactions with race that might affect responses to stressful events, for example for African American veterans (Fairchild, 1988; Silver & Wortman, 1980). Social Psychology Material to Introduce 1. Consider the interaction of ethnicity, class, and gender. Does your textbook mention it? (See Landrine, 1988 and Melville, 1980.) 2. Brown (1989) described social factors that contribute to experiences of lesbians and gay men, i.e., biculturalism, marginality, and normative creativity. Discuss these issues and other issues that influence the social context of sexual orientation. 3. How can one discuss gender and ethnic stereotypes in a way that does not reinforce inaccurate stereotypes (Albert, 1988)? For instance, Hispanic gender roles are not as rigid as stereotypes imply and the notion of machismo is oversimplified (Martinez & Mendoza, 1984). Writers on various populations stress that broad terms are often used to describe extremely heterogeneous groups such as Hispanics (Vasquez & Baron, 1988) and Asian Americans (Tsai & Uemura, 1988). Discuss how comparative research tends to emphasize group differences and minimize the important variability within categories. 4. Discuss the impact of cultural values on achievement. For instance, how might cultural values lead to higher academic performance by Asian Americans (Tsai & Uemura, 1988) than by other ethnic groups? 5. Hispanics tend more frequently to live in urban areas than other groups (Melville, 1980; Vasquez & Baron, 1988). How might living in cities interact with cultural differences to affect Hispanics? 6. Use power as the tool for analysis of differences that exist between groups. Ask students to evaluate a group difference mentioned in the textbook in terms of the power differences between the groups and speculate as to whether power may account for those differences more adequately than ethnic, class, or gender differences (Eagly, 1987). Discussion Questions and Exercises 1. Analyze your textbook's discussion of stereotypes. Is the impact of stereotypes on the interpretation of behavior discussed in the context of stereotypes about ethnic, gender, disability, or sexual orientation groups? 2. In the discussion of aggression in your textbook, is social context mentioned? Is there any discussion of violence against women, ethnic minorities, or homosexuals? Is the relationship between poverty and violence described? 3. In the chapter on social psychology in your textbook, is there a discussion of the impact of culture on the social environment? Is cross-cultural research mentioned? Is research on ethnic minority cultures within the US discussed at all? If these areas were included in more detail, which analyses of social psychology topics might be different? (See Lott, 1988; McIntosh, 1993; Reid, 1993.) 4. Family roles in ethnic groups are often presented stereotypically. Discuss factors that might cause variations from stereotypes within a particular group. 5. Cultures are not static; they change over time. How might immigration to the United States change the culture of immigrant groups? 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