Psychology of Women and Gender

Spring 2006


Class Sessions: Tuesdays & Thursdays

LCB 110


Instructor Dr. Diana T. Sanchez

Office: Tillett Hall 627; Phone: 732-445-3552; E-mail: Office Hours: 3:00-5:00pm Thursdays

Course Objectives This course introduces students to the psychological literature on women and gender. Course topics include the causes of sex differences and similarities in abilities and personality, the influence of gender roles on psychological health, women's close relationships in traditional and non-traditional families, portrayals of women in the media, the diversity of women's experiences, gender and psychological disorders, and applied gender-related issues such as sexual harassment. The three primary objectives for this course are that students (a) gain a general overview of what psychologists have learned about the role of gender in people’s daily lives and (b) explore, in depth, psychological research and theory on gender-related topics of interest to the student and (c) understand the psychological approach to studying gender and be able to design and present their own psychological experiment on a gender-related issue. Completing the course readings and attending class sessions led by the instructor, guest speakers, and student presenters will enable students to master these objectives.


Course Requirements and Grading Students’ achievement of the course objectives will be assessed through a variety of assignments. Final course grades will be based on performance on the following course requirements: presentation topic/reference list selected by due date (5%), class presentation (30%), class attendance and participation (15%), mid-term examination (25%), and final examination (25%). A = 90-100%, B+ = 87-89.9%, B = 80-86.9%, C+ = 77-79.9% C = 70-76.9%, D = 60-69.9%, F = Below 60%.


Poster Presentations. Student teams (13 groups of 3-4 students each) will present a poster on the last day of class. The poster will consist of an introduction to a psychological topic/issue/problem concerning gender, a research question/hypothesis, brief literature review, and a proposed study design. Each member of the group will be expected to present to the professor/students in the poster session on April 27th, 2006. ATTENDANCE ON APRIL 27TH IS MANDATORY! If you cannot attend the class on the 27th, you will receive a zero for this assignment. The literature review should cite at least 5 psychological references. Articles may be selected from citations in the course readings, through a PsycInfo search on the designated topic, or through browsing through current psychology journals. The Readings section of this syllabus includes a list of recommended journals.


Student teams must provide copies of their selected presentation article to the instructor at the start of class on February 14th, 2006 to gain approval for their topics. Unapproved topics will receive a ZERO for their poster presentations. You must receive approval before the poster session.


Examinations. The midterm and final examinations will be administered, respectively, on Thursday, March 2nd, and Thursday, April 20th during our regularly scheduled class. The exams will consist of multiple choice questions and short-essay questions which will cover all material presented in the assigned readings and in class. Students with an unexcused absence on an examination day will receive a failing grade on the missed exam.

Class Attendance and Participation. Class participation scores are based on attendance, contributions to class discussions, bringing reading assignments to class sessions, poster session discussion, and emailing class comments and questions 24 hours before class on designated days. To successfully contribute to class discussions, students must remain current on the required readings listed in the course schedule.


A Note on Student Conduct: Class participation scores will be based on students’ respectful attention and responses to others’ comments and questions, as well as on the introduction of their own comments. Respectful disagreement and debate on course topics can make for an interesting and lively class session. However, disrespect directed toward other members of the class is counterproductive to the academic goals of the course and will not be tolerated. Keep in mind that the aim of the course is to understand more about psychological research on women and gender.

Internet Components of the Course

The course syllabus will be available on my faculty website.


Academic Integrity Cheating and plagiarism (i.e., the representation of someone else's work as one's own, e.g., “cutting and pasting” from internet sources, copying answers from your neighbor during an exam, ) are serious offenses. Such acts will result in a failing grade in the course.

Final Note

This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.


READINGS Available for purchase in the bookstore:

Crawford, M., (2006). Transformations: Women, Gender and Psychology.

New York: McGraw-Hill.


Additional required readings will be sent over email or posted on the course website.

Students are encouraged to review the "research methods" chapter in an introductory psychology or introduction to social psychology textbook to refamiliarize themselves with terms such as "independent variables, "dependent variables," and "confounds.”




Articles for students’ presentations may be selected from the following journals:


Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, American Psychologist, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Social Cognition, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Child Development, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Adolescence, and Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The Journal of Social Issues is also a great journal; but its articles often do not include reports of original experiments, which are required for class presentations. Selections from other journals must be approved by the instructor.






Tuesday, January 17


General Introduction to the Course

Thursday, January 19

Crawford: Ch. 1:

Paving the Way

Tuesday, January 24


My Feminisms

Thursday, January 26



Tuesday, January 31

Crawford: Ch. 2

Gender, Status, & Power

Thursday, February 2

Crawford: Ch. 3

Images of Women

Tuesday, February 7


Images of Women: Killing Us Softly

Thursday, February 9

Crawford: Ch. 4

The Meanings of Difference

Tuesday, February 14

Crawford: Ch. 5: Sex, Gender, & Bodies


Thursday, February 16


The Gender Workbook

Tuesday, February 21

Crawford: Ch. 6:

Gendered Identities: Childhood and Adolescence

Thursday, February 23

Sanchez & Crocker (2005). Investment in gender ideals and well-being.*


Tuesday, February 28

Crawford: Ch. 7:

In a Woman’s Body

Thursday, March 2



Tuesday, March 7

Crawford: Ch. 8:

Sex, Love, & Romance

Thursday, March 9


Reference List Due

Tuesday, March 14 & Thursday, March 16



Tuesday, March 21

Crawford: Ch. 9

Commitments: Women and Close Relationships

Thursday, March 23



Tuesday, March 28

Crawford: Ch. 10


Thursday, March 30



Tuesday, April 4

Crawford: Ch. 11

Work and Achievement

Thursday, April 6



Tuesday, April 11

Crawford: Ch. 12

Midlife and Aging

Thursday, April 13



Tuesday, April 18

Crawford: Ch. 13

Psychological Disorders, Therapy and Well-Being

Thursday, April 20



Tuesday, April 25

Crawford: Ch. 14

What do we do now? Applying what you have learned

Thursday, April 27