A Relationship Between Responsibility Loads And The Superwoman Syndrome
In 2014, blogger and “For Brown Girls” creator, Karyn Washington, committed suicide. Since Washington dedicated her life to empowering Black women, her colleagues were confused about what motivated her suicide. Some believe that the Strong Black Woman stereotype (SBWS) in conjunction with the Superwoman Superwoman syndrome and stigmatization around mental health lead to her death. Such noted, this project aims to explore the relationship between responsibility loads and the Superwoman syndrome through disbursing 10 short, pilot surveys. In sampling Black women enrolled in a four-year colleges, this study hopes to confirm that: i. Heavier responsibility loads correlate, and possibly lead, to performances of Superwoman Schema (SWS) and ii. Black women who are Humanities and Social Science majors are more likely to experience SWS than Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors. To confirm these hypotheses and argue in favor of relationship between rigorous responsibilities explicit experienced/performance of SWS , Woods-Giscombé’s theoretical framework of SWS and West, Donovan, and Daniel’s theoretical definitions of the SBW will be utilized.
Using a demographic questionnaire and a survey with open ended question, “The Price of Strength” study sought to understand 113 Black college women’s perceptions of the SBW image and the impact it has had on their mental health. Using a thematic analysis, the researchers found that their…