“In Search of Token Women in Academia”: Some Definitions and Clarifications

Carlotta Joyner Young, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Carolyn Wood Sherif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article makes an important distinction between two definitions of “token woman.” In the first definition, a token woman is one of few women in a predominantly male setting. The second meaning of “Token Woman” identifies that subset of such women who have made the distinctive psychological adaptation described by Laws (1975). The methodological decisions in Young, MacKenzie, and Sherif's (1980) research are justified as based on that definitional distinction. Constantinople's critique is shown to be appropriate as an alternative to Laws' theory, but not as a criticism of our research. Alternative generational explanations for previous findings about Token Women are not supported by existing data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-169
Number of pages4
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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