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History of Feminist Psychology

The following resources are historical or contextual accounts of feminist psychology as a sub-discipline, and/or subject matter, and/or practice, primarily in North America. For developments outside North America, a good general reference is Rutherford, Capdevila, Undurti, & Palmary (Eds.), Handbook of International Feminisms: Perspectives on Psychology, Women, Culture, and Rights (2011) which includes contributions from women in Brazil, India, Spain, Turkey, Britain, China, the Nordic region, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Israel, New Zealand, and Pakistan, as well as the United States and Canada. See also  Travis, White, Rutherford, Williams, Cook, & Wyche, K. F. (Eds.). (2017). APA handbook of the psychology of women (Vols. 1–2). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Austin, S., Rutherford, A., & Pyke, S. (2006). In our own voice: The impact of feminism on Canadian psychology. Feminism & Psychology, 16, 259-271.


Bergeron, S., Senn, C. Y., & Poulin, C. (2006). Feminist psychology in Canada. Feminism & Psychology16(3), 235-241.


Boatswain, S., Brown, N., Fiksenbaum, L., Goldstein, L., Greenglass, E., Nadler, E., & Pyke, S.W. (2001). Canadian feminist psychology: Where are we now? Canadian Psychology42(4), 276-285.


Bohan, J. S. (2002). Sex differences and/in the self: Classic themes, feminist variations, postmodern challenges. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 74-88.


Brodsky, A. M. (1980). A decade of feminist influence on psychotherapy. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 4, 331-344.


Bryan, A. I. (1986). A participant's view of the National Council of Women Psychologists: Comment on Capshew and Laszlo. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 181-184.


Buhle, M. J. (1998). Feminism and its discontents: A century of struggle with psychoanalysis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


Capshew, J. H., & Laszlo, A. C. (1986). "We would not take no for an answer": Women psychologists and gender politics during World War II. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 157-180.


Chrisler, J. C., & Smith, C. A. (2004). Feminism and psychology. In M. A. Paludi (Ed.), Praeger guide to the psychology of gender (pp. 271-291).  Westport, CT: Praeger.


Crawford, M. & Marecek, J. (1989). Psychology reconstructs the female, 1968-1988. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 13, 147-165.


Denmark, F. L., & Fernandez, L. C. (1993). Historical development of the psychology of women. In F. L. Denmark & M. A. Paludi (Eds.), Psychology of women: A handbook of issues and theories (pp. 4-22). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.  


Dodd, J. (2015). "The name game": Feminist protests of the DSM and diagnostic labels in the 1980s. History of Psychology, 18(3), 312-323.


Eagly, A. H., Eaton, A., Rose, S. M., Riger, S., & McHugh, M. C. (2012). Feminism and psychology: Analysis of a half-century of research on women and gender. American Psychologist, 67(3), 211-230.


Harris, B. J. (1984). The power of the past: History and the psychology of women. In M. Lewin (Ed.), In the shadow of the past: Psychology portrays the sexes (pp. 1-25). New York: Columbia University Press.


Henley, N. M. (1985). Psychology and gender. Signs, 11, 101-119.


Herman, E. (1995). The curious courtship of psychology and women’s liberation.  In E. Herman, The romance of American psychology (pp. 276-303). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.


Johnson, A. & Johnston, E. (2010). Unfamiliar feminisms: Revisiting the National Council of Women Psychologists. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(3), 311-327.


Johnson, A., & Johnston, E. (2015). Up the years with the Bettersons: Gender and parent education in interwar America. History of psychology18(3), 252-269.


Kim, S. & Rutherford, A. (2015). From seduction to sexism: Feminists challenge the ethics of therapist-client sexual relations in 1970s America. History of Psychology, 18(3), 283-296.


Kimball, M. M. (1986). Developing a feminist psychology of women: Past and future accomplishments. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 27(3), 248-259.


Kimball, M.M. (2003). Feminists rethink gender. In D.B. Hill, & M.J. Kral (Eds.), About psychology: Essays at the crossroads of history, theory, and philosophy (pp. 127-146). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.


Kimball, M. M. (2008). Coming of age with women's studies. In W. Robbins, M. Luxton, M. Eichler, & F. Descarries (Eds.), Minds of our own: Inventing feminist scholarship and women's studies in Canada and Québec, 1966-76 (pp. 243-249). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.


Marecek, J., Kimmel, E. B., Crawford, M., & Hare-Mustin, R. T. (2003). Psychology of women  and gender. In D. K. Freedheim (Ed.), Handbook of psychology, Volume 1: History of Psychology (pp. 249-268). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


Mednick, M. T. S., & Urbanski, L. (1991). The origins and activities of APA's division of the psychology of women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 651-663.


Mednick, M. T. & Weissman, H. J. (1975). The psychology of women: Selected topics. Annual Review of Psychology261-18.


Minton, H. L. (2000). Psychology and gender at the turn of the century. American Psychologist, 55, 613-615.


Morawski, J. G. (1994). Practicing feminisms, reconstructing psychology: Notes on a liminal science. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.


Morawski, J. G. & Agronick, G. (1991). A restive legacy: The history of feminist work in experimental and cognitive psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 567-579.


Parlee, M. B. (1992). Feminism and psychology. In S. Rosenberg-Zalk & J. Gordon-Kelter (Eds.), Revolutions in knowledge: Feminism in the social sciences (pp. 33-55). Boulder. CO: Westview  Press.


Parlee, M. B. (1979). Psychology and women. Signs, 5, 121-133.


Parlee, M. B. (1975). Psychology. Signs, 1119-138.


Pyke, S. W. (1992). The more things change... Canadian Psychology, 33, 713-720.


Pyke, S. W. (2001). Feminist psychology in Canada: Early days. Canadian Psychology, 42, 268-275.

Pyke, S.W. (2008). The second wave: A personal voyage. In W. Robbins, M. Luxton, M. Eichler, & F. Descarries (Eds.), Minds of our own: Inventing feminist scholarship and women's studies in Canada and Québec, 1966-76 (pp. 142-147). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Pyke, S.W. & Stark-Adamec, C. (1981). Canadian feminism and psychology: The first decade. Canadian Psychology, 22, 38-54.

Robb, C. (2007). This changes everything: The relational revolution in psychology. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.


Rosenberg, R. (1982). Beyond separate spheres: The intellectual roots of modern feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Rosenthal, N. B. (1984). Consciousness-raising: From revolution to re-evaluation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 8, 309-326.


Ruck, N. (2015). Liberating minds: Consciousness-raising as a bridge between feminism and psychology in 1970s Canada. History of Psychology, 18(3), 297-311.


Russo, N. F., & Dumont, A. (1997). A history of division 35 (psychology of women): Origins,  issues, activities, future. In D. A. Dewsbury (Ed.), Unification through division: Histories of the divisions of the American Psychological Association(vol. 2, pp. 211-238).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Rutherford, A. (2010). Feminism and American psychology: The science and politics of gender. In W. E. Pickren & A. Rutherford, A history of modern psychology in context (pp. 262-285). New York: Wiley.


Rutherford, A. (2015). Maintaining masculinity in mid-20th century American  psychology: Edwin Boring, scientific eminence, and the “woman problem.” In E. Milam & R. Nye (Eds.) Osiris: Scientific Masculinities, 30, 250-271. 


Rutherford, A., Capdevila, R., Undurti, V., & Palmary, I. (Eds.) (2011). Handbook of international feminisms: Perspectives on psychology, women, culture, and rights. New York: Springer SBM.


Rutherford, A., & Granek, L. (2010). Emergence and development of the psychology of women.  In J. C. Chrisler & D. R. McCreary (Eds.), Handbook of gender research in psychology, Volume 1 (pp. 19-41).  New York: Springer.


Rutherford, A. Marecek, J., & Sheese, K. (2012). Psychology of women and gender. In D. K. Freedheim & I. B. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, Volume 1: History of Psychology, Second edition (pp. 279-301). New York: Wiley.


Rutherford, A. & Pettit, M. (2015). Feminism and/in/as psychology: The public sciences of sex and gender. History of Psychology, 18(3), 223-237.

Rutherford, A. & Pickren, W.E. (2008). Women and minorities in psychology. In S. Davis & B. Buskist (Eds.), 21st century psychology: A reference handbook. (pp. 25-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Rutherford, A., Vaughn-Blount, K., & Ball, L.C. (2010). Responsible opposition, disruptive voices: Science, activism, and the history of feminist psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 160-173.


Schwesinger, G. C. (1943). Wartime organizational activities of women psychologists: II. The National Council of Women Psychologists. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 7, 298- 299.


Shields, S. A. (2007). Passionate men, emotional women: Psychology constructs gender difference in the late 19th century. History of Psychology, 10, 92-110.


Shields, S. A. (1984). "To pet, coddle, and 'do for'": Caretaking and the concept of maternal instinct. In M. Lewin (Ed.), In the shadow of the past: Psychology examines the sexes (pp. 256-273). New York: Columbia University Press.


Shields, S. A. (1982). The variability hypothesis: The history of a biological model of sex differences in intelligence.  Signs7, 769-797.


Shields, S. A. (1975).  Functionalism, Darwinism, and the psychology of women.  American Psychologist30, 739-754.


Stewart, A J., & Dottolo, A. L. (2006). Feminist psychology. Signs, 31, 493-509.


Teo, T. (2005). The critique of psychology: From Kant to postcolonial theory. New York: Springer. [Contains a chapter on the feminist critique of psychology]


Tiefer, L. (1991). A brief history of the Association for Women in Psychology: 1969-1991. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 635-649. [A version of this article and a second installment (1991-2008) can be found at the Association for Women in Psychology website.


Unger, R. K. (1998). Resisting gender: Twenty-five years of feminist psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Vaughter, R. M. (1976). Psychology. Signs, 2, 120-146.


Walsh, M. R. (1985). Academic professional women organizing for change: The struggle in psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 17-28.


Wilkinson, S. & Burns, J. (1990). Women organizing within psychology: Two accounts. In E. Burman (Ed.), Feminists and psychological practice (pp. 140-162). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc.