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Timeline

Women, Gender, Feminism, and Psychology in the United States and Canada

1848-1950s

1848

 

The historic Seneca Falls Convention on Women's Rights in New York State marks the beginning of the women's suffrage movement and first-wave feminism in the United States. The Declaration of Sentiments is signed by 68 women and 32 men; the principal author was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 


1851

 

Sojourner Truth delivers her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio

1882

 

Christine Ladd Franklin: First woman to complete all the requirements for a PhD at Johns Hopkins University, a degree she was not granted until 1926

1891

 

Mary Whiton Calkins establishes a psychology laboratory at Wellesley College

 

Calkins and Ladd Franklin: First female members of the American Psychological Association 

 

1894

 

Margaret Floy Washburn becomes the first woman to be officially awarded the PhD degree in psychology, at Cornell University under E.B. Titchener

 

1895

 

Calkins and Cordelia Nevers begin their debate with Jospeh Jastrow about the Community of Ideas of Men and Women

 

Milicent Shinn publishes an article in Century Magazine in which she explores the reasons for the lower rates of marriage among college-educated women, concluding that educated women have more freedom in their choice of mates and more economic independence

 

1903

 

Helen Thompson (Woolley) completes the first dissertation on sex differences, entitled The Mental Traits of Sex

 

Ladd Franklin, Calkins and Washburn named to American Men of ScienceEmma Sophia Baker becomes the first woman in Canada to earn a PhD on a psychological topic

 

1905

 

Mary Whiton Calkins: First woman to be elected president of the APA

1910

 

Helen Woolley publishes A Review of the Recent Literature on the Psychology of Sex in the Psychological Bulletin

 

1914

 

Anna Berliner becomes the only woman to complete a PhD under Wilhelm Wundt

 

Leta Stetter Hollingworth publishes Variability as Related to Sex Differences in Achievement: A Critique in the American Journal of Sociology

 

Hollingworth publishes her doctoral dissertation entitled Functional Periodicity: An Experimental Study of the Motor and Mental Abilities of Women During Menstruation


1916

 

Hollingworth publishes Social Devices for Impelling Women to Bear and Rear Children in the American Journal of Sociology


Anthropologist Robert Lowie and Hollingworth publish Science and Feminism in Scientific Monthly 

 

1920

 

Constitutional amendment gives women the right to vote in the United States


1921

 

Margaret Floy Washburn is the second woman to be elected president of the APA

 

Leta Stetter Hollingworth is cited in American Men of Science for her research on the psychology of women

 

1929

 

The Famous Five succeed in having the Supreme Court of Canada declare women as persons in the eyes of the law in the famous Persons Case

 

1931

 

Margaret Floy Washburn: First woman psychologist elected to the National Academy of Science

 

1933

 

Inez Beverly Prosser: First African American woman to receive a doctoral degree in psychology at the University of Cincinnati, in educational psychology

 

1934

 

Ruth Howard (Beckham): Second African American woman to receive a doctoral degree in psychology, first within a department of psychology, at the University of Minnesota

 

1935

 

Helen Flanders Dunbar founds the American Society for Research in Psychosomatic Problems and is the first editor of the society's journal, Psychosomatic Medicine: Experimental and Clinical Studies 

 

Alberta Banner Turner earns her PhD from Ohio State University

 

1936

 

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) is founded.  Although none of its founding members are women, women soon make up one-third of the society's membership

 

1939

 

Rose Butler Browne becomes the first African American woman to earn a PhD in Education at Harvard University

 

1941

 

Karen Horney founds the American Institute for Psychoanalysis

 

National Council of Women Psychologists (NCWP) is formed to mobilize women psychologists in the war effort

 

1942

 

Florence L. Goodenough: First president of the newly created National Council of Women Psychologists, which became the International Council of Women Psychologists in 1946 and then the International Council of Psychologists in 1959

 

1943

 

Mamie Phipps Clark is the first African American woman (and second African American) to receive a PhD from Columbia University


1944

 

Ruth Tolman serves as SPSSI's first female council representative

 

SPSSI Committee on Roles of Men and Women in Postwar Society chaired by Georgene Seward issues a report concluding that sex differences are based largely on differential training and social myth

 

1946

 

Georgene Seward's Sex and the Social Order is published

 

Mamie Phipps Clark establishes the Northside Center for Child Development in New York City

 

1952

 

Keturah Whitehurst earns her PhD from Harvard's Radcliffe College and goes on to become the first African-American psychologist licensed in Virginia


 

 


If you know of an important historical event that should be listed here,email the date and a few lines about the event
to alexr [@] yorku.caLinks to further information and photos with proper permissions are also appreciated.