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Women's studies, self-esteem, and college women's plans for the future

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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.

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Author information

Correspondence to Diana M. Zuckerman.

Additional information

The author wishes to thank Faye Crosby for her helpful criticisms of an earlier draft of this article.

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Zuckerman, D.M. Women's studies, self-esteem, and college women's plans for the future. Sex Roles 9, 633–642 (1983).

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  • Social Psychology
  • Study Research
  • College Woman
  • Life Goal
  • Career Goal