Feminist Identity Development Model

The feminist identity development model is a theoretical model intended to describe the developmental process women go through to take on the social identity of a feminist. Theorists, researchers, and clinicians have used this model, although it has received mixed support. This entry explains the model, the various ways in which it has been operationalized in research, and presents critiques of the model and its measurement.

The Model

Nancy E. Downing and Kristin L. Roush created the feminist identity development model to describe the stages that women go through as they gain awareness of sexism and gender discrimination and move toward identifying as a feminist. Their stage model was largely based on one by William E. Cross Jr., designed to explain Black identity development, and the ...

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