Gender and Sexuality Studies

Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and offers a broad interdisciplinary investigation of gender and sexuality as keys to understanding human experience, fully integrating the study of gender and sexuality in its core curriculum, and insistently extending the view beyond U.S. borders.

At its core, the undergraduate Program encourages students to question the meanings of "male" and "female," as well as of sexual norms, in both Western and non-Western societies. Courses seek to unravel the ways in which ideas about gender and sexuality shape social roles and identities, in addition to the ways in which race, class, and ethnicity function in the experience of gender and sexuality within a culture. Gender and Sexuality Studies challenges the privileging of some categories (i.e., male or heterosexual) over others, along with the social and political implications of such hierarchies. Our curriculum makes gender and sexuality central rather than peripheral terms of analysis and seeks to complicate what is often presented as "natural" or "normal" in traditional academic curricula.

The Program offers an undergraduate major and a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the requirements for which are set forth in the College of Arts and Science Bulletin. By its very nature, Gender and Sexuality Studies enables students to combine intellectual inquiry with lived experience. To this end, students are encouraged to participate in internship opportunities and independent studies. Through these initiatives, students gain professional experience as well as an opportunity to test lessons learned in the classroom.

Students come to Gender and Sexuality Studies with an intellectual curiosity about the ordering of society and questions about their relationship to it. Through critical inquiry and exposure to a broad range of political and historical situations, many students go on to careers in social work, government, law, and political advocacy, often pertaining to gender and sexuality issues.