Hidden in Plain Sight: Locating, Validating, and Advocating the Stigma Experiences of Women of Color
In this commentary, we reflect and expand on Remedios and Snyder’s (2015) target paper “How Women of Color Detect and Respond to Multiple Forms of Prejudice.” We, initially, address the perceived lack of available women of color participants for human behavior studies conducted in the United States. We offer remedies to this expectation of deficits in order for researchers to retool their recruitment plans for traditional undergraduate subjects. Specifically, we highlight the changing demographic profiles of U.S. undergraduate students and we draw attention to potentially overlooked campus-based sources of women of color participants. Next, we discuss validated measures for researchers interested in assessing individuals with multiply-stigmatized group identities. The individual difference measures (double consciousness and chronic ostracism experiences) as well as an explicit evaluation (Strong Black Woman schema) may inform pending research examining group processes, health-related indicators, and predicted behaviors. Moreover, we identify critical areas of psychological research that can inform administrators of public policies and enlighten stakeholders for institutional transformations. In particular, we focus on factors that affect representation and retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in the Unites States. In sum, these suggestions have extensive implications for enhancing research on the stigma experiences and responses to prejudice for women of color, by providing U.S. researchers with practical solutions for recruiting women of color and measuring their experiences.