Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in PSYC 21 or SOC 21.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable
Cross-Listed: PSYC 21

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify and analyze effects of biology and society (i.e., the effects of culture and social interaction) on women's psychology (or psychologies, since differing cultures produce a range of psychologies).
  • Identify and analyze effects of biology and society (i.e., the effects of culture and social interaction) on women's psychology (or psychologies, since differing cultures produce a range of psychologies).
  • Comprehend and evaluate patriarchy's effects on women's psychology.


A survey of gender issues based upon psychological and sociological theories and research. The course will provide an examination of sex and gender differences from an interdisciplinary and multi-cultural approach. The course will cover the effects of biology, culture, and society in creating sex and gender differences. The course will include an analysis of major theories of gender development. Specific topics include, but are not limited to: biology, socialization, mass media, communication, personality, work, family, sex, and violence.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. understand and assess developmental principles pertaining to gender as suggested by biological, psychological, and sociological theories and research.
  2. integrate biological, psychological, and sociological forces influencing the development of women's sex roles.
  3. identify psychological and biological sex differences between males and females.
  4. critically assess the nature-nurture debate: i.e., the extent to which gender differences are biologically or socially based.
  5. understand and assess current research on gender motivation, emotion, achievement orientation, sexuality, personality, and learning abilities as determined by social, psychological, cultural, and/or biological factors.
  6. explain social science research methodology and its effect on understanding female behavior.
  7. assess current research in women's studies, psychology and/or sociology.
  8. relate the historical development of social science theories to the understanding of female behavior.
  9. demonstrate effective reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Course Content

  1. Examination of feminist psychology
    1. What is feminism?
    2. Need to counter and balance out androcentric views
  2. Advantages and disadvantages of various methods
    1. Experimental
    2. Correlation
    3. Survey
    4. Ethnography
    5. Sociology
  3. Development of the female individual, with consideration given to both physical and biological aspects of development as well as psychological and sociological aspects
  4. Images of women and men
    1. Media images of women
      1. Movies
      2. Television
      3. Music
      4. Magazines
      5. Print and televised news
      6. Impact of images
      7. Cross-cultural comparison of images and impact
    2. Language and impact of language on women's psychology
    3. Stereotypes and sexism
  5. Creating gender through social interaction
    1. Parental expectations and interaction
    2. Peer interaction
    3. Teacher interaction
  6. Creating gender through gendered environments
    1. Decoration
    2. Toys
    3. Clothing
    4. Personalities
  7. Historical development of psychological theory and research relevant to females
    1. Freudian theory
    2. Social learning theory
    3. Gender schema theory
  8. Biological considerations
    1. Prenatal development
    2. Effects of chromosomes and hormones
    3. Atypical sexual development
    4. Sex differences and similarities in the human brain
  9. Gender differences in personality
    1. Aggression
    2. Assertive behavior
    3. Expressing emotion
  10. Patriarchy and violence against women
    1. Wife battering
    2. Sexual assault: rape, childhood sexual assault
    3. Sexual harassment
  11. Work and achievement
    1. The pay gap and causes
      1. Discrimination
      2. Work segregation
      3. Family work
      4. Combining work and family
    2. Gendered differences in achievement
    3. Causes
  12. Sex, love, and romance
    1. The scientific study of sex
    2. How sexuality is shaped by culture
    3. Experiencing sexuality
    4. Lesbian and bisexual women
  13. Commitments: women and close relationships
    1. Marriage
      1. Equality within marriage
      2. Happiness differences
    2. Lesbian couples
    3. Cohabitating couples
    4. Single women
    5. Divorce and separation
      1. Rates
      2. Causes
  14. Mothering
    1. Images of mothers and motherhood
    2. The decision to have a child
    3. The transition to motherhood
    4. The experience of motherhood

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Written examinations, including a final exam
Research paper(s)
Oral presentations and/or class participation
Text reviews and/or analysis

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Else-Quest, Nicole, and Janet Shilbley Hyde. The Psychology of Women and Gender, 11th ed.. 2021.

Etaugh, Claire, and Judith S. Bridges. Women's Lives: A Psychological Exploration, 4th ed.. 2017.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading assignments:
    1. 30-40 pages weekly from the required text
    2. Supplemental readings from journals, monographs, and other appropriate sources
  2. Written assignments which allow the students to demonstrate proficiency in the course Student Learning Outcomes


Psychology OR Sociology OR Women's Studies