Women and Minorities in Psychology
According to the textbook opportunities for higher education for women was not available and for people of color it was even worse. Higher education was limited to middle class to, upper class white males (Goodwin, 2008). It was a general consensus that women were less intelligence then men and had what was commonly referred to as “women’s sphere” which was a firmly held belief that women who had education beyond simple reading and writing it would have a dangerous effects would be not be good for a women health ( Goodwin, 2008). Before the civil war women and minorities were not allowed to pursue higher education and were discouraged to study the sciences because of their lack of intelligence. However, Margaret Washburn was the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in psychology studying with Titchener in the area of visual imagery on tactile sensitivity, (Goodwin, 2008). Dr. Washburn went on to become the president of the American Psychology Association in 1921 (Goodwin, 2008). African Americans were referred to as a “beast of burden” as was thought of as being even more inferior than the lowly female and it was the belief that that if African Americans were educated it would encourage them to think about freedom ( Goodwin, 2008). During the post-civil war era African American’s were allowed to attend a limited number of separate but equal schools, most attained teaching degrees and returned to their communities as teachers. Those African American’s who did earn an advanced degree in psychology according to Goodwin (2008), had a very limited opportunity to use their degrees other than teaching at a “black college”. Francis Sumner was the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in psychology in 1920 (Goodwin, 2008). Because of the school of thought at the time in the 19th century of the superiority of the white male’s women and people of color were not granted the opportunity to pursue a higher education in the...
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