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Feminist Identity and the Superwoman Ideal

Sara M Martino, Shaelene R Lauriano.

Cited by (2)

The “Superwoman” ideal is a construct born out of the women’s movement in the 1960’s
defined as women who can “do it all and have it all” However, women today may actually be
receiving the message that they should have it all and are experiencing stressors as a result of
that pressure. Studies have found that girls who endorsed the superwoman ideal were also
more likely to experience disordered eating behaviors. In contrast to the concept of the
“Superwoman” and the possible negative effects it may have on young women, most research
on feminist identity development have shown it to have a positive effect on both men and
women. The gap in the literature today is whether there is a relationship between feminist
identity and the superwoman ideal. The current study sought to examine a possible
relationship between feminist identity and the superwoman ideal. Results indicate a
significant inverse relationship between the passive acceptance stage of feminist identity and
adherence to the superwoman ideal (r=-.253, p

Key words: women's health; superwoman ideal; feminism; perfectionism; eating disorders; masculinity

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