This study takes a multifaceted approach to group consciousness. The authors assessed changes in women’s feminist consciousness due to their exposure to feminism through women’s studies. Feminist consciousness was measured at the beginning and end of a semester during which some research participants were enrolled in an introductory women’s studies course. Women’s studies students were compared with students who were interested, but not enrolled, in women’s studies. As expected, women’s studies students showed an increase on several aspects of feminist consciousness, whereas non–women’s studies students did not. Non–women’s studies students became less sensitive to sexism. It is also noteworthy that, although they became more feminist, women’s studies students did not become more negative toward men.


Original Citation: Henderson-King, Donna, and Abigail J. Stewart. "Educational Experiences and Shifts in Group Consciousness: Studying Women." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 25, no. 3 (1999): 390-399.

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