12 Psychology of Women and Gender

History of Psychology

  1. Alexandra Rutherford PhD1,
  2. Jeanne Marecek PhD2,
  3. Kate Sheese MA3

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop201014

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Rutherford, A., Marecek, J. and Sheese, K. 2012. Psychology of Women and Gender . Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 1:12.

Author Information

  1. 1

    York University, Department of Psychology, Toronto, Canada

  2. 2

    Swarthmore College, Department of Psychology, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA

  3. 3

    The Graduate Center City University of New York, Department of Psychology, New York, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


The subfield of psychology of women and gender coalesced in the 1970s, spurred by the resurgence of American feminism. However, scientific interest in women and gender stretches back through the discipline's history. We first describe early female psychologists; for these women, investigations of sex and gender entwined with their struggles for recognition and fair treatment. Turning to the past 40 years, we provide an account of some key accomplishments. Researchers have addressed a wide range of topics, theories, and social problems; research has always been paired with critical examination of methods of inquiry and epistemology. In clinical and counseling psychology, feminist thinkers have offered new theory, innovative practices, and ethical reflections. The chapter closes with a description of several organizations of psychologists concerned with gender equality, the status of women in the profession, and social justice.


  • psychology of women;
  • feminist psychology;
  • psychology of gender;
  • history