Canadian Feminist Psychology Where are we Now?


CanadianFeminist Psychology: Where are we Now?

ByBoatswain, S.Brown, N.FiksenBaum,L.Goldstein L, Green glass, E.Nadla, and E. Pyke,SPSYC290Journal Article Critique 1Dr. Melike SchalomonMarch6, 2015

  1. Research question

Theobjective of the study is answering the research questions: First,what is the extent of feminization of the Canadian psychology?Second, to what extent has the women courses been legitimized inacademe? Third, what is the contribution of women in Canadianpsychology towards the generation of relevant research throughdissertation projects, publications in CPA journals and /orpresentations in CPA conferences?


Theaim of this report was to provide critique to the various existingtext that reviews the status of women representation within theCanadian Psychology Association. The status revealed in thefeminization of psychology in Canada, indicated that the number ofwomen engaging in psychology has greatly increased compared to men.This report aims at criticizing the various reasons as given.

  1. Method

Toanswer the research questions, the authors have referred to theAnnabel Cohen workshop on psychology of women courses. The workshopreviewed 22 course outlines submitted by 15 universities.

Contentanalysis of CPA conference presentation abstracts from 1985 to 1989and 1992 to 1995 was conducted. It aimed to compare and assesschanges in the representation of the field between the two periods.The year 1996 was omitted since CPA met with the InternationalCongress of Psychology and the program was therefore unrepresentativeof typical CPA Conventions.

Dissertationsurveys were conducted with online guides to dissertation abstracts.They aimed to review Canadian universities doctoral programs for theyears 1985-1989 and 1992-1996. This period was used to enablecomparability with data used on content analysis above. The aim was to determine the level of feminist contribution towards research.

  1. Results

First,the CPA Membership Services states that representation of women inCPA grew substantially from seventeen percent at the time of foundingin 1939 to twenty-five percent in 1970 and fifty-five percent in1996. The major reason for the rampant growth in women membership isthe perceived better representation in the splinter groups that haveremained in CPA. In support of the above, Annabel Cohen’s workshopconcluded that women studies were substantially represented in theuniversities. The workshop findings indicated that out of the 22course outlines from 15 universities, 15 courses focused directly andsignificantly, on the psychology of women courses. In contrast, thesurvey by the Council of Ontario Universities Committee established alower representation of women studies. There were only nineundergraduate course listings on the psychology of women forpsychology departments in 12 Ontario universities. Further, overtwice as many such courses were found in the curricula of sociologydepartments.

Second,the CPA membership service states that specifically, the growth ofwomen has outnumbered men in undergraduate programs in Canadianuniversities. This means that they have produced a larger number ofdissertations. In contrast, the dissertations and conference surveyrevealed decreasing numbers of women focused articles in the 80’sand 90’s. There is only nine percent and four percent of articlesin the eighties and nineties respectively, recorded as feministic.Feministic representation has declined in both conferences anddissertations surveys

  1. Discussion/ Conclusions.

Theauthors agree that women increasingly dominate the Canadianpsychology. However, from the various sources such as dissertationsresearch, conference presentations and journal articles, it is clearthat women content is not highly significant. The Authors recommendsfor a continued expansion of the networks to enlarge the community offeminism and nurturing the links to ensure that their struggle forequality survives in the new millennium

  1. .References

Thesources for this critique include research publications in Canadianjournals, papers presented at Canadian psychological Associationconventions and doctoral dissertation projects.

  1. Personal reaction

Themajor flaw in the research is lack of enough information on thepopulation of the subjects. With enough information about theinstitutions available to offer the women psychology courses, it ispossible to identify whether the sample used in the research is asufficient representative of the population. Further, although therehave been numerous efforts by women to be recognized in the academicfield, their labors have not yet been appreciated, the level ofperceived gender inequality is substantial. Due to the inequality,the increase in the number of women registering for the psychologycourses cause a “perceived “decrease in the value of degrees.Finally, CPA psychologists need to increase and maintain theirnetworks in order to have more bargaining power.


Boatswain,S., Brown, N., Fiksenbaum, L., Goldstein, L., Greenglass, E., Nadler,E., &amp Pyke, S. (n.d.). Canadian feminist psychology: Where are wenow?&nbspCanadianPsychology/Psychologie Canadienne,&nbsp276-285.