"Does Feminist Ideology Mediate between Gender Studies Education and Self-Esteem?"
Victoria Dunsmore
Faculty Mentor:  Benjamin Biermeier-Hanson
Center for Gender Studies Poster Forum ~ 4:30 to 5:30pm ~ Heth 022
"Women's and Gender studies courses are a common component of academic institutions. Instructors who teach these courses typically have two sets of goals in mind: (1) To educate students and provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and (2) to promote positive personal changes within each individual who takes the course (Brush, Gold, & White, 1978). If students undergo a personal change and shift their views of gender roles, they sometimes become committed to feminist ideology which was defined by Brush and colleagues (1978) as the attitudes towards changing the social roles of women. Some studies have shown that individuals can experience feminist identity development after taking a Women’s and Gender studies course (Bargard and Hyde, 1991; Liss, Crawford, & Popp, 2004; Nelson, Liss, Erchull, Hurt, Ramsey, Turner, & Haines, 2008; William & Wittig, 1997). As Women’s and Gender studies courses have been shown to increase feminist ideology, feminist ideology has been shown to increase self-esteem (Cash, Ancis, & Strachan, 1997; Dionne, Davis, Fox, & Gurevich, 1995; Leavy & Adams, 1986; Tiggemann & Stevens, 1999). There has not been a great deal of research on the role feminist ideology plays on taking a Women’s and Gender studies course and higher levels of self-esteem, but one study found that exposure to feminist images resulted in an increase in satisfaction with appearance and increased the likelihood to self- identify as a feminist (Peterson, Tantleff-Dunn, & Bedwell, 2006). The current study aims to examine this relationship further by investigating whether feminist ideology works as a mediator between taking a Women’s and Gender studies course and increasing self-esteem levels."
 Keynote Forum Speaker
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