Leta Hollingworth Summary

1112 Words5 Pages
Leta S. Hollingworth was an American psychologist who focused most of her research on giftedness, educational psychology, psychology of women, and the variability hypothesis. She conducted numerous studies to reject the variability hypothesis that deemed women for destined for mediocrity and did her dissertation on how women were not mentally incapacitated during menstruation (Held, 2010). Hollingworth wrote six articles on the social factors that contributed to the social status of women. (1) One being “Social Devices for Impelling Women to Bear and Rear Children,” this article focused on the eight social constructs that motivated and pressured women to have and raise children. Of the eight, seven were first proposed by E. A. Ross in his book…show more content…
(1) The eight social devices were personal ideals, public opinion, law, belief, education, art, illusions, and bugaboos. There were three popular bugaboos which were first termed by Hollingworth (1916) as false ideas or beliefs held by society that were created by medical men. The first was that if pregnancy was delayed until the age of 30, it was more painful and hard. Thus prompting women to have babies at an earlier age. The second stated that women who do bear children live longer opposed to women who don’t. The third stated that a child that was raised alone was more likely to become “selfish, egotistic, and an undesirable citizen” (Hollingworth, 1916). Which propelled women to have more than one child so their child would not become any of those things. (1) These eight social devices had been used as a means to confine women to the roles of child bearer and mother by manipulating them to not aspire to anything more. When a woman went against her designated role they were considered abnormal, selfish, and were destined to encounter the wrath of God in the hereafter. (2) When this article was first published, in…show more content…
(8) As for the differences between both articles, Hollingworth (1916) focused more on the social constructs that are devised to promote pregnancy and gave specific examples. Whereas, Brenning et al. (2015) focused on how motivation to get pregnant is correlated with psychological adjustment. Also, Hollingworth’s (1916) article was more of a social analysis while Brenning et al.’s (2015) article was a longitudinal study with a method, participants, measures, etc. (7) Although, both Hollingworth and Brenning et al. also explored how internal (emotions) and external (other people) factors can have an impact on one’s decision to bear a

More about Leta Hollingworth Summary

Open Document