CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Effects of Consciousness-Raising Groups on Measures of Feminism, Self-Esteem and Desirability


34 female undergraduates in 2 consciousness-raising groups were objectively assessed to determine whether changes relating to self-reported profeminist attitudes and behaviors and relating to self-esteem and social desirability would occur. 22 Ss were randomly assigned to either a 16-hr marathon group format or a 2-hr, 8-wk time-spaced group format. 12 additional Ss who took objective measures at the same time as 1 of the 2 groups acted as no-treatment controls. All experimental Ss significantly shifted toward more self-reported profeminist attitudes and behaviors both at posttesting and at follow-up. Two personality measures did not reveal any lasting changes. When compared with each other, Ss in the 2 time formats did not evidence any significant differences. When compared with control Ss, time-spaced Ss reported significantly more profeminist behavioral changes and an increase in self-esteem. Marathon Ss were significantly different from controls on a profeminist attitude measure (Attitudes Toward Women Scale). The purpose for which consciousness-raising groups have been formed was empirically supported by desired changes reported by Ss in relation to more profeminist attitudes and behaviors. Whether participation in consciousness-raising groups produces increases in self-esteem and decreases in the need for social approval is in need of further assessment.

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Dr. Diane Follingstad had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the publication time.

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