Over 20 years since her last published new work, Sandra Lipsitz Bem’s ideas continue to inspire and influence many contemporary researchers—as reflected in the many excellent papers appearing in the two special issues of Sex Roles. In my review, I highlight how Sandra Bem was repeatedly at the vanguard of the intellectual zeitgeist that shaped the psychology of gender over the last four decades. Notably, Bem was at the forefront of second-wave feminist psychology in the 1970s. In this regard, she challenged androcentric ways of thinking about gender and sexuality. Moreover, she helped to expand our notion of gender and gender identities beyond bipolar or dichotomous models. By extension, her androgyny and gender schema theories pushed people to consider the multifaceted features of gender and sexuality. Bem heralded the benefits of greater flexibility and gender equality for children as well as adults. In addition, she was one of the first psychologists to study how language and gender divisions are intertwined. Finally, she was on the forefront of researchers addressing heterosexism and genderism. The papers appearing in the two special issues are used to illustrate each of these important contributions.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 25, 2017
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