Note: Click on any title to read the abstract.
9:00 Opening Remarks – Prof. Neil Gold
9:15 Marcia Oliver (Sociology)
Challenging Notions of Consent
10:15 Heather Getty (Psychology)
Psychologists’ Incorporation of a Sociopolitical Analysis in the Conceptualization and Treatment of Women’s Distress
10:45 Morning Break
11:00 Adam Vasey (Law)
The Inherent Tension Between Feminism and the Legal Structure
11:30 Susan Sverdrup-Phillips (Sociology)
Gender Differences and Similarities in Response to Workplace Aggression
12:00 Lunch (provided with free registration)
1:00 Opening Remarks – Dr. Sheila Cameron
1:15 Jeanette Janzen (Visual Arts) [Cancelled due to illness]
Stitch rhymes with ...
1:45 Surbhi Bhanot (Psychology)
South Asian Men’s Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women: Are Acculturation and Gender Role Beliefs Important Factors?
2:15 Karen Zuccala (Human Kinetics)
Sex Discrimination in Sport: An Examination of Sex Testing in Athletics
2:45 Afternoon Break
3:00 Karen Smallwood (Sociology) [Cancelled due to illness]
A Daughter’s Worth: Feminist Perspectives in Imbalanced Sex Ratios in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh
3:30 Chantal Thorn (Psychology)
Conceptualization of Heath and Illness: A Test of the Theory of Male Bias
The notion of consent is foundational to our everyday lives. The idea of consent in the medical field between licensed practitioners and patients, in ethical considerations between researchers and subjects, in ceremonies of marriage, and in the legal technicalities of divorce. It is present, both implicitly and explicitly, in business transactions, in the workplace, and in the bedroom. I am interested in studying the notion of consent and the various ways in which the practices of giving consent manages behaviours and characteristics of populations and directs interactions between individuals. Specifically, I am interested in examining the knowledges and practices that attempt to shape, direct and govern the choices and decisions of women to engage in sexual relations with men. This paper will examine the power dynamics implicit within the discursive constructions of consent and the ways in which these constructions facilitate various forms of knowledge. It is these “knowledges” that guide both the formal practices and strategies that seek to govern female sexualities and conduct, and the moral principles and norms which we have internalized to govern our sexual selves.
For centuries women religious have served the Church and the world as teachers, nurses, scholars, monastics, and missionaries. In response to the dramatic ecclesial reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) Roman Catholic women religious attempted to adapt to Church reform and to facilitate organizational change within their orders. For these sisters the post-Vatican II era brought changes in dress, community life, and occupations, all of which assisted them in living lives of service in the modern world. Further, women religious broadened their visions of mission, spirituality, and community and this found expression in a unique process of change. The history of women religious in the latter half of the twentieth century can only be understood in light of the self-regulated and on-going change process which they initiated in the 1960s. Both archival research and oral histories bring to light the experiences of the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Ontario, an order whose process of change is representative of many North American religious communities. The feminist and social justice principles underlying the reform process of the Ursulines provide unique insights in to the nature of women’s communities and their relationships to the people whom they serve.
It has been argued that women's experience of psychological distress is influenced in part by unique economic, social, cultural, and political pressures associated with being female in a patriarchal society. Feminist researchers and clinicians have argued that clinical psychology has paid insufficient attention to the role of sociopolitical factors in women's distress, and claim that this oversight reinforces a patriarchal status quo that ultimately disempowers women. The present study investigated the range of ways in which a sample of 25 clinicians transformed psychotherapeutic practice in line with their perceptions of sociopolitical influences on women’s distress. Clinicians' incorporation of a sociopolitical analysis in their clinical work was investigated by conducting semi-structured interviews with therapists working within a range of theoretical orientations and occupational settings. Results were analysed by transforming interview data into a hierarchy of themes using grounded theory techniques (Rennie, 1992). Results suggest that clinicians’ appreciation of the sociopolitical influences on women’s distress shaped their therapeutic approach in a wide range of ways. It is hoped that such research can inform debate on the ways in which therapy can be transformed to empower women and benefit society at large.
An inherent tension exists between feminism and the patriarchal legal system – commonly referred to as the legal system. The extent to which feminism should engaged this legal structure is the subject if considerable debate, largely because the values underlying feminism are fundamentally at odds with those underlying the legal structure. Within feminism there is a tendency to resist certainty, uniformity, rigid definitions and claims to “Truth.” Yet these are the very characteristics upon which the legal structure relies in order to maintain its strength. Thus, as increasing numbers if women enter the legal profession in various capacities, it becomes necessary to examine how, if at all, these differences between feminism and the legal structure can be reconciled. Recent changes, such as the emphasis on access to justice in legal education and the contextual approach to decision-making taken by the Supreme Court of Canada, have given the legal structure an image of increased inclusiveness. In this paper, however, I will argue that rather than being instinctively associated with progress for feminism, such changes should serve merely as a starting point for meaningful discussion of the following issues: how and why the legal structure is able to continually constrict and modify the expression of feminism as it relates to law; how divisions are created and perpetuated within feminism upon its entry into the legal structure; and why the image of an increasingly inclusive legal structure can be problematic.
Susan Sverdrup Phillips
Semi-structured interviews with social workers, nurses, police officers, and teachers about client, student, patient, or individual-perpetuated acts of aggression indicate a consistent concern to “do the right thing” in response to these incidents. Although males participants confessed to suppressing the desires to “hit back” or “do serious harm”, very few followed through on these desires citing a professional ethic of care. Female participants on the other hand, indicated they feared being injured. These participants noted a concern for protection and fairness or justice. Notable exceptions to this were women who were tall (over 5’8”) and weighed over 160 lbs. Larger women’s concerns during incidents of aggression appear similar to male concerns and may be mediated by body size. Although both male and female participants were concerned about “doing the right thing,” body size rather than gender mediated their decisions about the constitution of ethical responses to aggression.
The purpose of this study is to examine South Asian men’s attitudes towards violence against women. Studies conducted on other cultural groups have found that an individual’s level of acculturation and gender role belief system are related to their attitudes towards violence against women. Highly acculturated individuals and individuals with more egalitarian gender role beliefs are more likely to exhibit attitudes that condemn violence against women. In the current study, it is predicted that an individual’s gender belief system will mediate the relationship between acculturation and attitudes violence against women. It is hypothesized that highly acculturated South Asian men will exhibit more egalitarian gender role beliefs, which will lead them to exhibit attitudes that condemn violence against women. One hundred South Asian males will be asked to complete the South Asian Acculturation Scale (Ghuman, 2000), the Attitudes Towards Women Scale – British Version (Parry, 1983), the Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability Scale – Short Form (Reynolds, 1982), and the Inventory of Beliefs About Wife Beating Scale (Saunders et al., 1987). The findings will be discussed within a broad cultural framework.
The feminist movement of the 1960s helped to bring to public attention the issue of female participation in sports. Despite the efforts of women over the past forty years, the battle for equity still continues today. A controversial issue among female athletes is sex testing. Unlike their male counterparts, women were required to pass a “femininity test” in order to compete. Although sex testing was recently abolished, the issue will be examined with reference to the only known court case, Renee Richards, and the courageous efforts of Maria Patino. Patino, a hurdler from Spain was the first woman to publicly protest the sex test ruling that excluded her from competition for three years. In this case, I challenge the audience to assume the role of a jury. I argue that Patino would have prevailed in court if she sought litigation, providing her with the recognition she deserved. Through my presentation I hope to create awareness among women, students, athletic administrators, lawyers, coaches, and professors of the obstacles that girls and women have faced in order to participate in sport. Through education, it is my goal to alleviate future discrimination cases in sport.
The culturally constructed inequalities that arise from belonging to one sex or another and the historical subordination of women can create, maintain or make worse certain risk factors that endanger health. This is true because members of the health care system tend to stereotype men and women based on long-standing traditional roles, typically resulting in men being used as the standard for health. The tendency to perceive of men as the norm has had powerful effects on the state of the health care system and on women as health care users ranging from “...the differential treatment and diagnosis of diseases in men and women to the historical under-representation of women as participants in research” (Benrud, 1998, p. 375). In an effort to better understand how our gender bias affects women as health care users, I am currently conducting my master’s thesis entitled, “Conceptualizations of Illness: A Test of the Theory of Male Bias.” This study tests the theory of male bias in two ways: by testing nursing students’ attitudes towards health and their conceptualizations of illness. The results of this inquiry are important as I believe the possible implications for the health care system and women as its users are serious. It is my intention that this research increase our understanding of how androcentrism may affect women as health care users.