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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 10:30am - 11:45am
Women in Culture — Ruscio CGL 212

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Motivations to Use Psychological Therapies: A Cross Cultural Comparison (Paper)
Batsheva Honig
In the United States, for many, seeking psychological help is akin to admitting that they have a mental illness (Mendoza, 2015). In contrast, the prevalence of psychological therapies is widely accepted in Argentina (Alonso & Klinar, 2014). In comparing the two countries, we can gain a better understanding of the needs of young women and how culture influences attitudes towards mental health services. Previous research attributes stigma and cultural differences to the use and avoidance of psychological therapies (Digiuni et al., 2013). More work is needed to understand what motivates young women to use therapy. The current study investigates personal and norm-based motivations in the U.S. and Argentina. A model, wherein stigma acts as a moderator between the relationship of motivation and openness to therapy, is proposed. This study will provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of psychological therapy use, allowing for better understanding of mental health and therapy cross-culturally.

Music and Women: The Implications of Disparaging and Empowering Music (Paper)
Jake Burnett
The purpose of the current study is to investigate the impact that music, specifically lyrics in music, can affect women's self-esteem and identification as women. The current literature indicates that there are clear detriments associated with disparaging lyrics and objectifying images in music videos, but little research has previously been done on how empowering lyrics can be beneficial. The current study expands the research by including positive stimuli in addition to the customary negative stimuli. Participants are placed in one of 6 conditions across two variables. They listen to disparaging music, neutral music, or empowering music and either read along with the lyrics or exclusively listen. After listening, they complete a portion of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the State Self-Esteem Scale, and a modified version of the Collective Self-Esteem Scale. If data are significant, this will have implications for women about the music to which they listen.

Child’s Play: Why Is it Socially Acceptable to Decapitate Barbie? (Paper)
Catherine Simpson
Why do children like to torture their Barbie dolls? Barbie dolls are fashion and appearance focused dolls with unrealistic body proportions; imaginative play with Barbie leads to lower self-esteem and reduced occupational aspirations (Dittmar, Halliwell, & Ives, 2001; Sherman & Zurbriggen, 2014). Previous research suggests that children follow three types of scripts when playing with Barbies: familybased, glamour-based, and anger/torture-based (Kuther, 2004). However, with the relatively recent introduction of more diverse Barbie dolls and Barbie media emphasizing the idea that Barbie can be anything, it's possible that these scripts have changed, making Barbie into a more positive role model. Through focus groups with collegeaged women and pre-teen girls, I've investigated the possible causes of torture-based scripts as well as the prevalence of existing scripts based on Barbie media. Barbie has potential as a role model for girls, and the continued introduction of positive scripts through Barbie media may be beneficial.

Tracing the First Female Federal Circuit Court Judge (Paper)
Jess Winn
In 1934, Judge Florence Ellinwood Allen became the first woman appointed to a federal circuit court judgeship. She had previously served as the first woman justice on the Ohio State Supreme Court. Judge Allen went on to preside over the contentious Tennessee Valley Authority case. But she is still a mysterious figure. This research project focuses on understanding Judge Allen through her law clerks. Law clerks operate behind the scenes in many judges’ chambers. They help their judges by researching the law and drafting opinions. They gain a unique perspective on the judge. Judge Allen had several clerks throughout her tenure on the Sixth Circuit. This project involves finding her clerks or their relatives and collecting stories and other historical materials about Judge Allen. Then, I will write a piece about Judge Allen for an anthology of articles about judicial clerk.

Marguerite Duras's New Woman (Paper)
Maddi Boireau
The works of author Marguerite Duras have had an outstanding influence on today’s society and were a major addition to second wave feminism. Second wave feminism tackled issues ranging from sexuality, the workplace, and reproductive rights. Duras not only breaks women’s social mold but also creates a whole new narrative space for a woman to exist. In Duras's novels L'Amant, Les yeux bleus cheveux noirs, and L'amant de la Chine du nord, Marguerite Duras breaks the socially constructed definition of a woman and writes a new category for her. To prove this, I analyze four elements throughout all three novels: power and control gender binary; clothing and gender performance; Duras's undoing of marriage; and language.


Friday March 17, 2017 10:30am - 11:45am
Ruscio CGL 212

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