The Changing Sex Ratio and Its Implications for the Profession


Address reprint requests to: J. Regis McNamara, Psychology Department, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701.


Women are participating in the field of psychology in increasing numbers relative to men. This development has been referred to as the “feminization of psychology,” and it carries with it a number of implications. This article reviews statistical data relating to the changing sex ratio and discusses their implications. Participation rates of women in psychology are examined as they pertain to enrollment in doctoral programs, graduation from baccalaureate programs, and career progress within the profession. Implications of changing sex ratios for occupational prestige, income and economics, work structure, education and training, and theory, research, and practice are then discussed. In conclusion, the concept of “feminization” is challenged as questions are raised about whether the increase in the number of women in psychology is a problem, as has been alleged, or a symptom of other problems within the field