Dissertation Title:

Repressed Femininity Among Women Scientists in Academia


Diane Eardley

Date, Time & Place:

June 2, 2021 at 11:30 am


Patriarchal relationships characterize academic institutions even today. Women who have attained professional success in academia often yield to their male colleagues. This dissertation explored repression of femininity and the role femininity played in relationships among women scientists in an academic setting. The research proposed a unique methodology termed the Integrated Method which was a synthesis of the hermeneutic approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and the relational approach of the Listening Guide. The Integrated Method had the advantage of IPA’s in-depth thematic analysis and the I poem relational analysis of the Listen Guide. Together, these methodologies allowed for the investigation of repressed thoughts that women scientists had about their femininity. Themes that illustrated how women perceived their femininity included how women scientists expressed their femininity in their work environment, relationships with colleagues, and mentoring connections. The analysis of quotations and I poems from interviews of the women demonstrated that women scientists repressed elements of their femininity in order to succeed in the patriarchal community of academia. The women scientists adapted their professional self to the more assertive nature of men, and they relinquished the feminine nature of their persona in order to participate in the academic community. A psychoanalytical lens was applied to the interpretive process. The results of this research provided clinically relevant information about feminine repression and adaptation for career success.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, A, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Oksana Yakushko
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Schewe
  • External Reader: Dr. Christine Woodcock
  • Keywords: Listening Guide, Femininity, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, Repression, Women In Academia