In the beginning of Psychology’s history very little thought was put towards women in the field.
In fact, when women were considered it was in a pathologising sense of ‘the woman question’. Women were considered to be second class citizens at best, and often hysteric, emotional and child-like in the notes of (predominantly male) psychologists.
However the second wave of feminism from the 1970s encouraged more women in the field to adopt and develop feminist approaches to Psychology and to criticise the male-dominated field. Androcentric methods and the ways in which women were positioned as ‘the other’ were highlighted.
From the 1990s an emphasis was placed on re-placing the women in the history of Psychology. For there had always been women but their work was often not acknowledged and so their contributions to Psychology forgotten. These historical attempts and new feminist approaches can be seen in a range of areas within Psychology but have arguable been most notable in philosophical, social and critical domains.
The changes in attitudes towards women was in light of major social changes in Britain. In fact, the ideas of gender, sex and sexuality all altered according to societal shifts including around the two World Wars, the sexual revolution and the First and Second waves of feminism.