LIBERATING THE “DEVIANT” FEMINIST IMAGE THROUGH EDUCATION

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Abstract:

A study was conducted testing the following hypothesis: Feminists are labeled as deviant or nondeviant depending on the audience's exposure to feminist education. Specifically tested was the assumption that there is a relationship between attitudes toward feminists and exposure to university courses on feminism. A questionnaire, measuring attitudes in retrospect, over a two-year time span, was administered to 99 students at a metropolitan mid-western university. Based on accessibility, four student groups were selectively chosen and then tested with the major variable under consideration, i.e., exposure (or lack of it) to consciousness-raising courses related to feminism. The results of t-test analysis indicate that the attitudes of students exposed to feminist courses changed in a more positive direction. The students not exposed to feminist courses already held positive feminist attitudes, although of a lesser degree. Thus, the labeling of feminist behavior as deviant or nondeviant did not solely depend on the audience's exposure to feminist education. However, there was a positive relationship between attitudes toward feminist behavior and exposure to university courses on feminism.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1985.13.1.73

Publication date: January 1, 1985

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