Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #68
An Exploration of Behavior Analytic Accounts of Feminist and Gender Issues
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Dominique Stedham (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The general concern for equality across gender has received increasing attention across multiple cultural collectives over the past hundred years. Gender related concerns have blossomed into areas of academic pursuit that are encompassed by several different approaches to the study of gender as it is related to complex social issues. However, the science of Behavior Analysis, that is very well suited for discussions concerning these particular types of behavioral and cultural phenomena, has not thoroughly tapped into its potential in providing a thorough account thereof. The academic endeavors of women’s studies scholars has been suited in a historical context and this makes it open to a behavior analytic conceptualization. This symposium will discuss gender and feminist issues as they are perceived, both from the general women’s studies perspective and how that might be translated into and benefit from a Behavior Analytic account. It will explore varying aspects of these cultural phenomena from the perspectives of different Behaviorisms and furthermore, will offer both a case study of a current culture and gender issue as well as a behavioral approach to teaching gender related courses at the university level.
Keyword(s): Feminism, Gender Issues, Interbehaviorism, Women's Studies
The Cultural Evolution of the Various Waves of Feminism: An Interbehavioral Account
DOMINIQUE STEDHAM (University of Nevada, Reno/Brohavior), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Within the larger pursuit of gender issues three primary waves of feminism have been identified. However, difficulties in understanding the relationships within and between the waves have become apparent not only to those who prescribe to the various waves, but also to those who study them. One of the difficulties in understanding the relationship across the three waves results from the differing theoretical foundations upon which each was built; each wave was built on the collaboration of members who prescribed to differing psychological schools, various traditional philosophies, a multitude of theologies and political science world views. As such, discussions between them and approaches toward particular cultural issues have become unproductive. A unified theoretical system to approaching an understanding of the philosophical foundations of the various waves would be beneficial to identifying patterns across them and categorizing their differing effects on members. This paper presentation will briefly outline constructs from Interbehaviorisim and will utilize them to provide a cultural analysis of the evolution of the philosophical approaches and general behavior of the members of the movement as they are related to the three waves of feminism.

Teaching Gender From a Behavior Analytic Perspective

CHELSEA J. WILHITE (University of Nevada, Reno), Lauren Diane Brown (University of Nevada, Reno)

The topic of gender has traditionally been relegated to the field of biology due to its assumed correlation with sex or at best, it has been investigated by social psychologists. Rarely have members prescribing to the science of behavior analysis dedicated many, if any, resources to investigating or talking about the culturally relevant topic of gender or gender roles. After all, gender is perceived to be just another demographics category in large-n, statistical studies, right? No, this is not the way in which gender and gender issues ought to be approached. The culmination of research from several fields in the natural and social sciences suggests that gender is not dependent upon sex nor is it static for particular individuals even within their own lifetime. For these reasons, this paper will argue the study of gender can benefit from a behavior analytic perspective. Furthermore, even before behavior analytic research on gender is published, we can teach the topic from a behavior analytic perspective.

Defunding Planned Parenthood: A Consequential Contingency Analysis of Discrimination Against Women
JOHN LAMPHERE (Brohavior), Chase Owens (Brohavior/University of North Texas)
Abstract: This presentation will provide a case study concerning a gender issue that is currently relevant within our culture. It will consist of a consequential analysis of recent partisan debates over funding patterns for one of the nation’s leading reproductive health care providers and advocates for women’s rights. These funding debates could potentially limit women’s access to the reinforcing benefits of affordable reproductive health care. Furthermore, it could potentially limit the scope of research done to further women’s health. Both of these outcomes could be described as discrimination against women. Here we will acknowledge consequences maintaining the disagreements between both sides of the debate within the United States at both the national and state level, and discuss consequences that could maintain more moral decision making to further gender equality. We will also attempt to acknowledge some developmental costs that may make difficult the change to more moral decision making within society and legislation.



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