Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Sexism in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Sandra EspinozaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_548

Name of Concept



Around the 1980s and early 1990s, feminist theorists were challenged with bringing advocacy to the struggles of gender and power that were often overlooked in the field of couple and family therapy (McGoldrick et al. 1989). Feminist theorists began to challenge and highlight the pattern reflected in psychological theories that framed presenting problems by blaming women’s behaviors in the family system. Issues related to gender can cause power imbalances that make it difficult for both partners to effectively make their internal needs known to the other. Sexism in couple and family therapy calls for therapists to pay special attention to gender, power, culture, and socialization in marital and non-marital dyads as well as the overall family system.

Prominent Associated Figures

Rachel Hare-Mustin, Peggy Papp, Olga Silverstein, Deborah Luepnitiz.


The concept of sexism emerged from feminist theory to help define behaviors, attitudes,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA