Questionnaires distributed at the beginning and end of the semester assessed the self-esteem and life goals of college women enrolled in five women's studies courses and five other courses in related disciplines. The two groups were compared in terms of the changes in self-esteem and goals from the beginning to the end of the semester. The underclasswomen in the women's studies courses tended to express more traditional expected career goals and lowered self-esteem in the posttest. In contrast, the upperclass-women in the women's studies courses reported increased self-esteem in the posttest. Implications for teaching women's studies courses and previous women's studies research are discussed.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Brush, L. R., Gold, A. R., & White, M. G. The paradox of intention and effect: A women's studies course. Signs, 1978, 3, 870–883.
Canty, E. M. Effects of women's studies courses on women's attitudes and goals. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention, San Francisco, 1977.
Garfinkle, S. H. Occupations of women and black workers, 1962–74. Monthly Labor Review, 1975, 98, 25–34.
Howe, F. Towards a nonsexist education. Women's Studies Quarterly, Summer, 1983, 11.
Rosenberg, M. Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965.
Ruble, D. N., Croke, J. A., Frieze, I., & Parsons, J. E. A field study of sex-role related attitude change in college women. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1975, 5, 116–117.
Scott, R., Richards, A., & Wade, M. Women's studies as change agent. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1977, 1, 377–379.
Shulman, S. A., & Sedlacek, W. E. An evaluation of a women's studies program. Journal of the National Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors, 1977, 41, 7–12.
Speizer, J. An evaluation of the changes in attitudes toward women which occur as a result of participation in a women's studies course. (Doctoral dissertation, Boston University, 1975). Dissertation Abstracts International, 1975, 36, 1404A. (University Microfilms No. 75-20, 968)
Zuckerman, D. M. Retrospective study of interests and abilities that predict life goals and sex-role attitudes of college women. Psychological Reports, 1978, 43, 1151–1157.
Zuckerman, D. M. Self-esteem, personal traits, and college women's life goals. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1980, 17, 310–319. (a)
Zuckerman, D. M. Self-esteem, self-concept, and the life goals and sex-role attitudes of college students. Journal of Personality, 1980, 48. (b)
Zuckerman, D. M. Family background, sex-role attitudes, and life goals of technical college and university students. Sex Roles, 1981, 7, 1109–1126. (a)
Zuckerman, D. M. Sex-role related goals and attitudes of minority students: A study of black college women and reentry students. Journal of College Student Personnel, 1981, 22, 23–30. (b)
The author wishes to thank Faye Crosby for her helpful criticisms of an earlier draft of this article.
About this article
Cite this article
Zuckerman, D.M. Women's studies, self-esteem, and college women's plans for the future. Sex Roles 9, 633–642 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290070
- Social Psychology
- Study Research
- College Woman
- Life Goal
- Career Goal