Diversity in Psychology: Absence of Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Psychology

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Diversity in Psychology: Absence of Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Psychology essay

As a field that explores human experiences, psychology has been pushing to include diversity in its education, research and services. The discipline has been ensuring to include multicultural approach and diversity while emphasizing topics such as individual and cultural differences (Gallor, 2017). As of recent, psychology has been focusing on integrating social justice in its field, specifically academically and in training future professionals. Psychology textbooks and courses lack the of coverage of race, racism, and other forms of oppression, however, psychologists and other scholars must continue to investigate race and racism and work to eradicate all forms of oppression (Whitten et al., 2019). Although, monitoring psychology’s current demographics, one can highlight its lack of gender equality, cultural diversity and inclusion. As a broad discipline, psychology needs to be internationalized to make progress and understand the mind on a universal nature.

Psychology’s workforce is not representative of the different races and ethnicities; however, it is slowly moving towards the right direction. According to APA’s Center for Workforce Studies, in 2015, 86 percent of psychologists in the U.S. workforce were white, 5 percent were Asian, 5 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were Black/African-American and 1 percent were multiracial or from other racial/ethnic groups, which is less diverse than the U.S. population as a whole (Lin, Stamm, & Christidis, 2018). APA released that in 2013, two-third of the 25,000 doctoral students in the U.S. were white. In addition, the data suggests that there is a large discrepancy among Psychology faculty, with 78 percent being white members (Green, 2016). Taking a closer look into gender inequality in the workforce, women do dominate the field but only in terms of numbers. In 2013, for every male active psychologist, there were 2.1 female active psychologists in the workforce (Lin et al., 2018). Even though women are actively participating in the field, but the inequality can be seen with wages and status within Psychology. According to the National Science Foundation, women psychologists who enter the workforce encounter lower salaries than men regardless of the subfield. The average wage gap in starting salaries for recent doctoral graduates is approximately $20,000 (Clay, 2017). Even though women represent over half of APA’s membership, they are not represented in the honorary positions or higher roles. Women in Academia face certain challenges as well, it usually takes women a year longer to achieve tenure than men (Clay, 2017).

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There are various measures than be taken in order to eliminate the lack of diversity and equality in the academic field within Psychology. A simple solution can be recruiting a more diverse student body, which means more diverse students, which would ultimately result in a more inclusive community of psychologists and therapists. It is important to have a varied community of psychologists because it encourages different theoretical and clinical perspectives, which may help to eliminate the traditional and biased assumptions in the psychology field (Awais & Yali, 2013). Moreover, the curriculum needs to promote multicultural competency and help train future psychologists to address the complex ways in which social injustice continues to manifest itself in many aspects of society (Green, 2016).

Another region that lacks diversity and inclusivity is research within the field of Psychology. It is clear that people from minority ethnic groups are under-represented in research. For too long, Psychology has disenfranchised or marginalized groups or individuals from diverse backgrounds in its research, which resulted in underrepresenting findings (Tebes, 2010). According to Trickett, it is important to consider the “Diversity of Contexts” when examining and understanding behavior (1996). There are several factors on whether the real issue of underrepresentation is due of ’planned exclusion’, ‘inadvertent exclusion’, ‘non-participation,’ or a mixture of them (Redwood & Gill, 2013). The field’s understandings of the structure and functioning of the mind is rooted in a set of centuries-old Western philosophical assumptions in regards to what it means to be a person or a group member in an individualist-oriented society (Stanford, 1996).

Psychological research have mistaken specific cultural twists for universal principles because most of the research subjects, as well as the researchers over the past 50 years, have been Americans or Europeans only (Stanford, 1996). An example of a method to keep research inclusive and social justice driven is the “participatory action research”. This research approach involves research participants themselves in every step of the process, from collecting and analyzing data, to co-developing conclusions. This theory promotes change and empowers both researchers and participants as well as the community members (Gallor, 2017).

In the last few decades, psychology has expanded on an international level, which is a salient step to eliminate the under-representation. A vital movement that will help to terminate these biases is the “Internationalization of Psychology” movement. Internationalization refers to the approach in which existing or new psychological theories, methods, procedures, or data across cultures are synthesized to create a more culture-informed, inclusive, and globally applicable science and profession (Van de Vijver & Fons, 2013). Psychology should be able to step out of its comfort zone and be able to apply it outside of the European/American context that it always has been. Psychological theories and practice should be globally applicable instead of the “one size fits all” approach (Van de Vijver & Fons, 2013).

In conclusion, as a society that is continually evolving, increasingly becoming more diverse and multicultural, psychology has been attempting to ensure that it follows that change. The psychology field has historically lacked racial and ethnic diversity but with the appropriate measures, it will be possible to create a representative discipline.

References

  1. Awais, Y. J., & Yali, A. M. (2013). A call for diversity: The need to recruit and retain ethnic minority students in art therapy. Art Therapy, 30(3), 130–134. doi: 10.1080/07421656.2013.819284
  2. Clay, R. A. (2017, August). Women outnumber men in psychology, but not in the field’s top echelons. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/07-08/women-psychology
  3. Gallor, Susanna. “A Social Justice Approach to Undergraduate Psychology Education: Building Cultural Diversity, Inclusion, and Sensitivity Into Teaching, Research, and Service.” Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, vol. 22, no. 4, 2017, pp. 254–257. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, doi:10.24839/2325-7342.JN22.4.254.
  4. Green, A. (2016, January 29). Psychology’s Diversity Problem. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psy-curious/201601/psychologys-diversity- problem
  5. Lin, L., Stamm, K., & Christidis, P. (2018, February). How diverse is the psychology workforce? Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2018/02/datapoint
  6. Redwood S., Gill P.S. Under-representation of minority ethnic groups in research — call for action. Br. J. Gen. Pract. 2013;63(612):342–343.
  7. Stanford. (1996). Why psychologists need to study cultural diversity. Stanford News, dated May 2. Retrieved from http://news.stanford.edu/pr/96/ 960212aaasmarkus.html
  8. Tebes, Jacob Kraemer. “Community Psychology, Diversity, and the Many Forms of Culture.” American Psychologist, vol. 65, no. 1, Jan. 2010, pp. 58–59. PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/a0017456.
  9. Trickett, E. J. (1996). A future for community psychology: The contexts of diversity and the diversity of contexts. American Journal of Community Psychology, 24(2), 209-234.
  10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02510399
  11. Van de Vijver, Fons J. R. “Contributions of Internationalization to Psychology: Toward a Global and Inclusive Discipline.” American Psychologist, vol. 68, no. 8, Nov. 2013, pp. 761–770. PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/a0033762.
  12. Whitten, L., Fairchild, H. H., & Richard, H. W. (2019). Teaching Africana psychology. In J. A. Mena & K. Quina (Eds.), Integrating multiculturalism and intersectionality into the psychology curriculum: Strategies for instructors (pp. 103-114). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

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Diversity in Psychology: Absence of Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Psychology. (2021, Mar 25). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/diversity-in-psychology-absence-of-gender-equality-cultural-diversity-and-inclusion-in-psychology/