Sources of Tension in Teaching the Psychology of Women

Mary Sue Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines sources of tension in teaching the psychology of women. The essential conflict is a clash of values between the traditional academic setting and a revolutionary, nontraditional curriculum area. The first major source of conflict identified involves the knowledge base of the field and includes debate over the definition of the field and the appropriateness of diverse processes of knowledge acquisition. The second major source of conflict discussed concerns the roles of teacher and student in the classroom context and the larger role of the teacher as a faculty member in a traditional academic institution. In each of these cases the issue of power is critical. Such conflicts are irreconcilable, for reconciliation would either do irreparable damage to the nature of the study of the psychology of women or would cut the field off from potential benefits to be gained from the academic discipline of psychology. However, several courses of action in the face of conflict and tension are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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