Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Psychology; Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing
Project Advisor 1
The “woman problem” in America psychology refers to, “...the underrepresentation of women in the highest offices of psychology’s professional organizations and women’s general lack of eminence compared to men,” (Rutherford, 2015). It is a problem that seems to have existed from the beginnings of American psychology to the present day. This piece of writing seeks to better understand this problem, the function of it within American psychology, its origins and where it stands today. Through a historical analysis of Edwin Boring, Edward Titchener, Alice Bryan, Margaret Washburn, Eleanor Gibson, Mary Whiton Calkins and Mamie Phipps Clark, we can begin to investigate these issues. An examination of Boring and Titchener provides an historical context for the origins of this problem. By looking at the work they produced, the ideologies they held, and the groups, associations and circles they found themselves in, I have found what I see as evidence for their involvement in the production and maintenance of the “woman problem.” By examining the biographies on the five woman mentioned above, I have come to a better understanding of how women navigated their academic and professional careers in psychology while combating the problem of gender and sexism. Finally, I conducted a very preliminary, exploratory research project on the psychology department at Bard College as a way of conceptualizing the problem of gender in modern American Psychology.
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Baigelman, Willa G., "They Always Do What They Ought To Do: A Historical Analysis, and Exploratory Examination of the “Woman Problem” and the Function of Gender in American Psychology" (2018). Senior Projects Fall 2018. 27.
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