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The authors, well-known, active scholars in the ...
The authors, well-known, active scholars in the field, take a social constructionist perspective (i.e., gender is a social system of meanings, status, and power, not just a personality characteristic of individuals). The text takes a feminist point of view, advocating basic equality of women and men social, economical, and political while objectively reporting research findings. Information on race, age, class, and sexual orientation, is included and integrated into all text chapters. Four themes are woven throughout the book: Gender is more than just sex; Language and naming are a source of power; Women are a diverse group; and Psychology should be related to social change
In the third edition, the short introductory chapter is now immediately followed by the popular chapter about women stereotypes and the harm they do, while the more theoretical chapter on personality has been integrated into other appropriate chapters and linked to current research and issues in the news. More attention is paid to the role of the media in defining girls and women of all ages. The chapter shows how images of women continue to differ from those of men, examines how the media sees women and men world-wide, and looks at the similarities of these depictionscross-culturally. Each chapter now ends with “Connecting Themes,” summary of how the book’s four themes are played out in the topics of the chapter. Much more material is included in each chapter on the cultural and ethnic diversity of women with added new findings on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, social class, women of color, international issues, and women from around the world. In each chapter, a new “Making a Difference” boxed feature spotlights a woman activist who has changed society. A new chapter four on the meanings of difference asks, “How different are men and women really?” and answers this question in terms of contrasting feminist perspectives, presented in the context of concrete social problems. A new concluding chapter 15, “Making a Difference: Toward a Better Future for Women,” ties together the four themes of the book and presents an optimistic view of both how the women's movement has changed changed society and how students can continue to change society positively in response to the women’s movement.
Other new topics include: analysis of the backlash against feminism (chapter 1); the role of sexism in the schools (chapters 3 and 8); media images of women athletes and the representation of women in rap and music videos (chapter 4); pornography, race, and hostility toward women (chapters 4 and 14); factors influencing women’s perception of their leadership abilities (chapter 5); biological determinism in the media (chapters 3 and 6); the “silencing” of adolescent girls (chapter 8); differences among diverse groups of women in the meaning of sexuality and body image, and implications for therapeutic treatment (chapters 9 and 15); the new reproductive technology and the medical, ethical, and legal issues it raises; woman-headed households; and socially created obstacles to mothering (all in chapter 11); a new synthesis of the costs and benefits of juggling work, family, and relationship roles (chapter 12); changing cultural views of menopause, and achievement in mid- and later life (chapter 13).
A companion reader, In Our Own Words: Readings on the Psychology of Women and Gender, provides thorough coverage of and commitment to the diversity of the female experience in 45 readings that are brief, engaging, and fun to read.