Gender in psychology

Annu Rev Psychol. 2004;55:519-44. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141537.


Gender is increasingly understood as defining a system of power relations embedded in other power relations. Psychological research on gender-which has most often focused on analysis of sex differences, within-sex variability, and gender roles-has begun to incorporate this new understanding. By drawing on three resources, psychologists can make more rapid progress in understanding gender's significance for psychological processes: social science theories that link the individual and social levels of analysis; constructs (such as identity) that bridge the social and individual levels; and conceptual tools generated in feminist theory, perhaps especially intersectionality. We review these resources, cite active research programs that have employed them, and conclude by offering some practical suggestions about how to incorporate these resources into our research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Personality
  • Psychological Theory
  • Psychology*