There are two concerns in Women and Sex Roles. The first is to show that the study of women is of great importance; the second, that the science of psychology has contributed much to our understanding of women. This basic textbook is not only a thorough exploration into the many aspects and roles of women; it also shows the undergraduate how psychological data is used to explain human phenomena.
The authors begin by demonstrating how socially biased attitudes can enter into the scientific study of women. They then investigate the origins and nature of sex differences, with an emphasis on how children learn sex roles. The psychological factors influencing marriage, motherhood, achievement and work, sexuality, aging, and role strain are thoroughly explored, as are the psychological bases of prejudice and discrimination. A section on women and power, both personal and political, precedes the final chapter on making life decisions.Women and Sex Roles is designed to be the basic text for courses in the psychology of women, sociology of women, women’s studies, and sex roles. All psychological terms and principles are explained in the text so that the undergraduate need not have previous training in psychology.
The authors of Women and Sex Roles: A Social Psychological Perspective received their Ph.D.s from the University of California, Los Angeles. It was there that they developed the psychology of women course on which this book is based in part. Since then, they have been involved in research related to women and in the teaching of women’s studies courses.