Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Craig N. Shealy

Renee Staton

Lee Sternberger


Traditional gender roles, and the extent to which they are rigidly enforced in a social context, can limit individual and group welfare and are linked to serious social issues such as mass-incarceration, domestic abuse, gang-participation, female genital mutilation, and honor killings (Abramsky et al., 2011; Hackett, 2011). This chapter focuses on the social construct of gender and the ways in which individual and societal beliefs about gender impact the well-being of the global community. A three-pronged approach (individual psychotherapy, group interventions, and education policy) offers a way to address the myriad gender-based challenges present in a number of cultures worldwide. As human beings exist relationally, movements that advocate for women have an impact on society at large (Williams, 2016). As a result of continued globalism, the feminist and, more recently, MeToo movements, have had a broader impact in redefining gender dynamics. Currently, the way in which people of all genders understand themselves and each other is in flux. The resultant tension manifests itself in the form of advocacy and dialogue in the best cases, and violence and oppression in the worst cases. This chapter offers an approach for accelerating the process of understanding and creating a society in which gender relations can become a source of engagement, growth, and development for the human species writ large.



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