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Psychology of Women

Course Code: PSYC 1110
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course will study the experiences, realities, and possibilities of women’s lives. It will explore both the psychological origins and psychological effects of the feminine role. This will be discussed through critical analysis grounded in and sensitive to the everyday life experiences of women within North American and global contexts. It will examine diversity and development, focusing on relationships, knowledge, sexuality, health, work, and aging. Throughout the course, sexism will be analyzed as it intersects with colonialism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, ableism, and classism.

Course Content

  1. History of Psychology of Women and Women in Psychology: North American and Global Context
  1. Theories and Mechanisms of Socialization
    • The dynamics of patriarchy and hegemony.
    • Sexism, heterosexism, heteronormativity, and stereotyping.
    • Social constructionism and essentialism.
  1. Decolonization and Intersectionality as the Course Framework
    • Inequalities among women.
    • Replacing additive integrations with intersectional solutions: The importance of critical theories by Indigenous Women, Women of Colour, Women with Disabilities, Lesbians, 2-Spirit People, Transgender Women, Bisexual Women, Working Class Women, and Women of Dispossessed Classes.
  1. Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies
  1. Consciousness: Concepts of Girls’ and Women’s Experiences Throughout the Lifespan
    • A gendered biology.
    • Educational histories and experiences.
    • Body image, media, and representation.
    • Paid and unpaid work.
    • Girls’ and women’s friendships, alliances, relationships, and families.
    • Sexuality and sexual experiences.
    • Violence against girls and women.
    • Mental health and therapeutic interventions.
    • Voice, language, and communication.
    • Women aging.
  1. Challenging Gendered and Sexual Scripts
    • Transcending and transgressing the gender binary.
    • Lesbian theories and identities.
    • Postcolonial theories.
    • Poststructuralist theories.
    • Feminist activisms within psychology.

Methods of Instruction

The course will involve a number of instructional methods, such as the following:

  • lectures
  • small group discussions
  • demonstrations
  • presentations
  • visual content

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

2 midterm exams       50%
Final exam  20%
Presentation  15%
Written essay  15%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Explain the major theories of the socialization of women.
  2. Describe the development and maintenance of gender roles.
  3. Describe past and current responses to sexist stereotypes and heteronormativity.
  4. Describe the diversity of female roles within social, home, family, and work contexts.
  5. Describe the gender-specific issues of women’s aging.
  6. Describe physical and mental health issues of women over the adult age span.
  7. Describe the impact of feminist activisms on women’s psychological experience.
  8. Describe the history of psychology of women and feminist psychology.
  9. Describe the critical importance of intersectionality in women’s psychological experiences.

course prerequisites

Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:

  • No prerequisite courses


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.