Exploring Collegiate Perceptions of Feminism Through Bem’s Gender Schema Theory

  • Alysha Alani University of Rochester
  • Angela Clark-Taylor University of Redlands
  • Adriana Rogeshefsky University of Rochester
  • Catherine Cerulli University of Rochester, Susan B. Anthony Center University of Rochester, Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization
Keywords: college students, relationships, feminism, gender schema theory


Utilizing framework analysis (Pope, Ziebland, & Mays, 2000) and Bem’s (1981) gender schema theory, this study provides results from eight focus groups wherein an interdisciplinary team met with seven student organizations to discuss the interplay of feminism and interpersonal relationships. Findings suggest the more confident students feel in their conceptualization of feminism as promoting equality, the more likely they were to report comfort with friends and romantic relationships. Programming and policy implications for college campuses are explored.

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