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21A.231J / SP.455J / WGS.455J Gender, Sexuality, and Society

Spring 2006

A sign for a unisex bathroom.A sign for a unisex bathroom. It captures the symbolic, ideological, and institutional nature of the gender/sex dilemma. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Jerz.)

Course Highlights

This course features thorough lecture notes, a detailed list of all assigned readings, and a diverse collection of related resources.

Course Description

This course seeks to examine how people experience gender - what it means to be a man or a woman - and sexuality in a variety of historical and cultural contexts. We will explore how gender and sexuality relate to other categories of social identity and difference, such as race and ethnicity, economic and social standing, urban or rural life, etc. One goal of the class is to learn how to critically assess media and other popular representations of gender roles and stereotypes. Another is to gain a greater sense of the diversity of human social practices and beliefs in the United States and around the world.



Syllabus

Classes will integrate lecture and discussion. Occasionally we will break into small groups for more concentrated discussion. Some lectures will directly engage our readings while others will integrate background historical and theoretical information.



Course Requirements

Participation

You must attend class and participate in discussions; this part of the course, including Reader Responses (see below), will account for 25% of the final grade. Writing Reader Responses will help you feel prepared to speak up in class; if a student does not volunteer, she or he may be called upon to speak. You are expected to keep up with all assigned readings. Students who miss more than 3 classes will lose credit.

Reading Responses

Reading responses consist of a couple paragraphs describing your reaction to one or more of the readings for that session. Do not summarize, but rather give us your response to the reading. These should take no more than 30 minutes to write. While reader responses are not individually graded, they will be factored into the overall evaluation of your performance. You will write five over the course of the term. You will be encouraged to post these on the online class forum prior to the class for which they are due to share your thoughts with your classmates.

Argumentative Essays

You will write 3 papers, each counting for 25% of your final grade. The first paper will address the relationship between gender/sexuality and political economy. The second paper will discuss a socially/politically controversial topic concerning gender/sexuality. The third paper may examine the role of gender and sexuality in the construction of personal identity, and can include personal reflection. There is no final examination.

Grades


ACTIVITIESPERCENTAGES
Participation and Reader Responses25%
First Paper25%
Second Paper25%
Third Paper25%



Communication Intensive

This is a Communication Intensive (CI) subject. Your three papers will be 7-8 pages (roughly 2000 words) each. You will rewrite the first two papers in light of the comments received on them. The revised draft is the version that will be graded. Rewriting the third paper is optional. Because this is a CI subject, you will automatically pass Phase 1 of the Writing Requirement if you receive a grade of B or better.

Writing Tutor

We are fortunate to have a writing tutor for this course. You are required to make an appointment with her to discuss the progress of your first paper. You will be expected to meet with the writing tutor before submitting each draft and revised paper to the instructor.

Presentation

Students will give a 5-10 minute presentation of the third paper, time limit to be determined on the basis of enrollment. Presentations are factored into the participation grade. Rehearsing is advisable.

Due Dates

The first two papers are due in Lec #9 and Lec #17. You will get the papers back no later than one week after they have been handed in, and must submit your rewrite one week later (Lec #12 and Lec #20, respectively). If you plan on revising the third paper, the first version must be handed in by Lec #23. The third paper is due in Lec #25.



Calendar


Lec #TopicsKey Dates
1Introduction to the Study of Gender and Sexuality: The Sex/Gender System
Part I: Concepts and Themes
2Is Sex to Gender as Nature is to Culture?Reading response due in class
3Cultural Acquisition of Gender as Learned Behavior
Part II: Gender as a Social Institution
4Arranged Marriage and Inheritance in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies
5Science, Republicanism and The Woman QuestionHandout paper topics

Make appointment to meet with writing tutor in the next couple of weeks
6Social Reproduction: Reproducing Formal and Informal Class RelationsReading response due in class
7Women in the Global Economy (No Lecture)
8Gender, Work and Professionalization
9Gender and AgencyFirst paper due
10Appetite, Image, Control
Part III: Gender and Sexuality as Identity
11The Invention of Sexuality-based Identities
12Coming Out and Leaving the Closet BehindFirst paper rewrite due
13Other Genders/Sexualities
14Transvestite Lives and Sex WorkReading response due in class
15Transgender and Transexualism in the U.S.
16Intersexuality
17Do Western Sexual Identities Travel?Second paper due
18Sexism, Racism and Violence
Part IV: Reproductive Politics and Gendered Citizenship
19De-essentializing Sex/Gender/KinshipReading response due in class
20Fetal Images and Abortion DebatesSecond paper rewrite due
21Nationalism, Reproductive Politics and Gender
22Making Modern MothersReading response due in class (can include questions for the author!)

Proposal for third paper due
23Making Modern Mothers (cont.)
24Student Presentations
25Student Presentations (cont.)Third paper due




Readings

This section contains the required readings for the course. Readings are also presented by session.

Amazon logo When you click the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book (or other media) from Amazon.com, MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of this purchase and any other purchases you make during that visit. This will not increase the cost of your purchase. Links provided are to the US Amazon site, but you can also support OCW through Amazon sites in other regions. Learn more.


Required Texts

Amazon logo Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. First Picador ed. New York, NY: Picador, 2003. ISBN: 9780312422158.

Amazon logo Prieur, Annick. Mema’s House, Mexico City: On Transvestites, Queens, and Machos. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780226682563.

Amazon logo Paxson, Heather. Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780520223714.



Readings by Session


LEC #TOPICSREADINGS
1Introduction to the Study of Gender and Sexuality: The Sex/Gender System
Part I: Concepts and Themes
2Is Sex to Gender as Nature is to Culture?Amazon logo Hubbard, Ruth. "Rethinking Women's Biology." In The Politics of Women's Biology. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1990, pp. 119-129. ISBN: 9780813514895.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne. "The Five Sexes." The Sciences (March/April 1993): 20-24.
3Cultural Acquisition of Gender as Learned BehaviorAmazon logo Thorne, Barrie. "Children and Gender: Constructions of Difference." In Theoretical Perspectives on Sexual Difference. Edited by Deborah Rhode. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990, pp. 100-113. ISBN: 9780300044270.

Amazon logo Le, Huynh-Nhu. "Never Leave Your Little One Alone: Raising an Ifaluk child." In A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. Edited by Judy S. DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 199-220. ISBN: 9780521664752.

Amazon logo Diener, Marissa. "Gift from the Gods: A Balinese Guide to Early Child Rearing." In A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. Edited by Judy S. DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 91-116. ISBN: 9780521664752.
Part II: Gender as a Social Institution
4Arranged Marriage and Inheritance in Agricultural and Pastoral SocietiesBegin reading Middlesex. Discuss through p. 125.

Collier, Jane. "From Mary to Modern Woman." American Ethnologist 13, no. 1 (1986): 100-107.
5Science, Republicanism and The Woman QuestionAmazon logo Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Deirdre English. "Introduction: The Romantic Solution." In For Her Own Good: 150 Years of Experts' Advice to Women. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1978, pp. 1-29. ISBN: 9780385126502.

Amazon logo Kapsalis, Teri. "Mastering the Female Pelvis: Race and the Tools of Reproduction." In Public Privates: Performing Gynaecology from Both Ends of the Speculum. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997, pp. 31-59. ISBN: 9780822319283.
6Social Reproduction: Reproducing Formal and Informal Class RelationsAmazon logo Rapp, Rayna. "Family and Class in Contemporary America: Notes Toward an Understanding of Ideology." In Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions. Edited by Barrie Thorne and Marilyn Yalolm. New York, NY: Longman, 1982, pp. 25-39. ISBN: 9780582282650.

Amazon logo Glenn, Evelyn Nakano. "From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Reproductive Labor." In Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women's History. 3rd ed. Edited by Ellen C. DuBois and Vicki Ruiz. New York, NY: Routledge, 1999, pp. 436-459. ISBN: 9780415925167.

Amazon logo Romero, Mary. "Who Takes Care of the Maid's Children? Exploring the Costs of Domestic Service." In Feminism and Families. Edited by Hilde Lindeman Nelson. New York, NY: Routledge, 1996, pp. 151-169. ISBN: 9780415912532.
7Women in the Global Economy (No Lecture)Freeman, Carla. "Designing Women: Corporate Discipline and Barbados's Off-Shore Pink-Collar Sector." Cultural Anthropology 8, no. 2 (1993): 169-186.

Film: Redmon, David. Mardi Gras: Made in China. DVD. Revised ed. Carinvalesque Films. Brooklyn, NY: D. Redmon, 2006.
8Gender, Work and ProfessionalizationAmazon logo Weston, Kath. "Production as Means, Production as Metaphor: Women's Struggle to Enter the Trades." In Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture. Edited by Faye Ginsburg and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1991, pp. 137-151. ISBN: 9780807046128.

Amazon logo McDowell, Linda. "Body Work 1: Men Behaving Badly" and "Body Work II: The Masqueraders." In Capital Culture: Gender at Work in the City. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1997, pp. 158-203. ISBN: 9780631205302.

Amazon logo Williams, Rosalind. "Men and Women in a Technological World." In Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002, pp. 198-211. ISBN: 9780262232234.
9Gender and AgencyKandiyoti, Deniz. "Bargaining with Patriarchy." Gender and Society 2, no. 3 (1988): 274-290.

Abu-Lughod, Lila. "The Romance of Resistance." American Ethnologist 17, no. 1 (1990): 41-55.
10Appetite, Image, ControlCounihan, Carole M. "Food Rules in the United States: Individualism, Control, and Hierarchy." In The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning and Power. New York, NY: Routledge, 1999, pp. 113-128.

Gremillion, Helen. "In Fitness and in Health: Crafting Bodies in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa." Signs 27, no. 2 (2002): 381-414.
Part III: Gender and Sexuality as Identity
11The Invention of Sexuality-based IdentitiesKatz, Jonathan Ned. "The Invention of Heterosexuality." Socialist Review 20, no. 1 (1990): 7-33.

Davis, Maxine. "The Importance of Sexual Harmony." In The Sexual Responsibility of Women. New York, NY: Dial Press, 1956, pp. 22-36.

Amazon logo Bérubé, Allan. "Marching to a Different Drummer: Lesbian and Gay GIs in World War II." In Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality. Edited by Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, and Sharon Thompson. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press, 1983, pp. 88-99. ISBN: 9780853456094.

Amazon logo Rich, Adrienne. "Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Continuum." In Women-Sex and Sexuality. Edited by Catharine Stimpson and Ethel Spector Person. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1981, pp. 62-91. ISBN: 9780226774770.
12Coming Out and Leaving the Closet BehindAmazon logo Stein, Arlene. Sex and Sensibility: Stories of a Lesbian Generation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, chapters 1, 2 and 3, 1997. ISBN: 9780520202573.

Amazon logo Lewin, Ellen. "Wives, Mothers and Lesbians: Rethinking Resistance in the U.S." In Pragmatic Women and Body Politics. Edited by Margaret Lock and Patricia Kaufert. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 164-177. ISBN: 9780521629294.
13Other Genders/SexualitiesAmazon logo Herdt, Gilbert. "Gender and Socialization." In The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea. Wadsworth Publishing; 1 edition, 1987, pp. 67-99. ISBN: 9780030689079.

Prieur, Annik. Mema's House. Chapter 1.
14Transvestite Lives and Sex WorkPrieur, Annik. Mema's House.
15Transgender and Transexualism in the U.S.Heyes, Cressida J. "Feminist Solidarity after Queer Theory: The Case of Transgender." Signs 28, no. 4 (2003): 1093-1120.

Film: Schermerhorn, Candace, and Bestor Cram. You Don't Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsexual Men. VHS. Berkeley, CA: University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning, 1997.
16IntersexualityChase, Cheryl. "Hermaphrodites with Attitude." GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4, no. 2 (1998): 189-211.

Beeman, William, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Brown University. "What are you?" Baltimore Morning Sun, Sunday, March 17, 1996.

Discuss Middlesex.
17Do Western Sexual Identities Travel?Swarr, Amanda Lock, and Richa Nagar. "Dismantling Assumptions: Interrogating 'Lesbian' Struggles for Identity and Survival in India and South Africa." Signs 29, no. 2 (2004): 493-516.

Wardlow, Holly. "Anger, Economy, and Female Agency: Problematizing 'Prostitution' and 'Sex Work' among the Huli of Papua New Guinea." Signs 29, no. 4 (2004): 1017-1040.
18Sexism, Racism and ViolenceAmazon logo de Leonardo, Michaela. "White Lies, Black Myths: Rape, Race and the Black 'Underclass'." In The Gender/Sexuality Reader. Edited by Roger N. Lancaster and Michaela de Leonardo. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997, pp. 53-68. ISBN: 9780415910057.

Amazon logo Heise, Lori L. "Violence, Sexuality, and Women's Lives." In The Gender/Sexuality Reader. Edited by Roger N. Lancaster and Michaela de Leonardo. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997, pp. 411-433. ISBN: 9780415910057.
Part IV: Reproductive Politics and Gendered Citizenship
19De-essentializing Sex/Gender/KinshipAmazon logo Collier, Jane, Michelle Rosaldo, and Sylvia Yanagisako. "Is there a Family? New Anthropological Views." In Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions. Edited by Barrie Thorne and Marilyn Yalolm. New York, NY: Longman, 1982, pp. 25-39. ISBN: 9780582282650.

Amazon logo Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. "Lifeboat Ethics." In The Gender/Sexuality Reader. Edited by Roger N. Lancaster and Michaela de Leonardo. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997, pp. 82-88. ISBN: 9780415910057.

Landsman, Gail. "'Real Motherhood', Class, and Children with Disabilities." In Ideologies and Technologies of Motherhood: Race, Class, Sexuality, Nationalism. Edited by France Winndance Twine and Helena Ragoné. New York, NY: Routledge, 2000, pp. 169-187.

Gailey, Christine Ward. "Ideologies of Motherhood and Kinship in U.S. Adoption." In Ideologies and Technologies of Motherhood: Race, Class, Sexuality, Nationalism. Edited by France Winndance Twine and Helena Ragoné. New York, NY: Routledge, 2000, pp. 11-55.
20Fetal Images and Abortion DebatesPetchesky, Rosalind. "Fetal Images: The power of visual culture in the politics of reproduction." Feminist Studies 13, no. 2 (1987): 263-292.

Banerjee, Neela. "Church Groups Turn to Sonogram to Turn Women From Abortions." New York Times, February 2, 2005, National section.

Layne, Linda L. "Baby Things as Fetishes? Memorial goods, Simulacra, and the 'Realness' Problem of Pregnancy Loss." In Ideologies and Technologies of Motherhood: Race, Class, Sexuality, Nationalism. Edited by France Winndance Twine and Helena Ragoné. New York, NY: Routledge, 2000, pp. 111-138.
21Nationalism, Reproductive Politics and GenderKanaaneh, Rhoda. "Conceiving Difference: Birthing the Palestinian Nation in the Galilee." Critical Public Health 7, nos. 3-4 (1997): 64-79.

———. "Boys or Men? Duped or 'Made'? Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military." American Ethnologist 32, no. 2 (2005): 260-274.
22Making Modern MothersPaxson, Heather. Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece. Chapters 1-3.
23Making Modern Mothers (cont.)Paxson, Heather. Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece. Chapters 4-5.
24Student Presentations
25Student Presentations (cont.)





Lecture Notes

This section features lecture notes for the entire semester. They relate directly to the assigned readings.


Lec #Topics
1Introduction to the Study of Gender and Sexuality: The Sex/Gender System (PDF)
Part I: Concepts and Themes
2Is Sex to Gender as Nature is to Culture? (PDF)
3Cultural Acquisition of Gender as Learned Behavior (PDF)
Part II: Gender as a Social Institution
4Arranged Marriage and Inheritance in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies (PDF)
5Science, Republicanism and The Woman Question (PDF)
6Social Reproduction: Reproducing Formal and Informal Class Relations (PDF)
7Women in the Global Economy (No Lecture)
8Gender, Work and Professionalization (PDF)
9Gender and Agency (PDF)
10Appetite, Image, Control (PDF)
Part III: Gender and Sexuality as Identity
11The Invention of Sexuality-based Identities (PDF)
12Coming Out and Leaving the Closet Behind (PDF)
13Other Genders/Sexualities (PDF)
14Transvestite Lives and Sex Work (PDF)
15Transgender and Transexualism in the U.S. (PDF)
16Intersexuality (PDF)
17Do Western Sexual Identities Travel? (PDF)
18Sexism, Racism and Violence (PDF)
Part IV: Reproductive Politics and Gendered Citizenship
19De-essentializing Sex/Gender/Kinship (PDF)
20Fetal Images and Abortion Debates (PDF)
21Nationalism, Reproductive Politics and Gender (PDF)
22Making Modern Mothers (PDF)





Assignments

This section features descriptions for the three major papers of the course.



First Paper

The aim of this paper is to develop a thesis and to argue for it with reference to theoretical and case study materials from our readings.

You are required to meet with the writing tutor about your paper before completing it. Please make an appointment to meet with her next week or the following by emailing her at least 48 hours before you wish to meet. In addition, feel free to see me to discuss your ideas!

7-8 double-spaced pages, regular font (this is 12 pt Times) (roughly 2,000 words). Do not exceed 8 pages. These are argumentative papers - develop your own thesis and argue it by marshalling evidence from our readings and class discussions. Be sure to engage the arguments of and quote at least three of our authors.

Due in Lec #9

Choose one of the following topics:

  1. Gender and Nature: Write an essay about gender and nature, keeping in mind that just as our ideas about gender are culturally shaped and varied, so too are our ideas about nature (you can discuss scientific and religious theories about human nature and the natural world more generally). Organize your essay around a discussion of how particular gender ideologies have been naturalized - explained and legitimated through appeals to a biological and/or divine nature - and with what effects (see especially Hubbard, Fausto-Sterling, Kapsalis, Ehrenreich and English, the 2 readings on infant care, Eugenides).
  2. Gender Acquisition: Individuals learn gender - to identify as a girl or boy/ woman or man, and to be able to act in gender appropriate ways. But children (and adults) do not always conform to these lessons completely, or consistently. Drawing from our readings (Hubbard, Eugenides, Collier, etc.), although one example may come from your own observations of a society, discuss four (4) examples that illustrate different modes of gender acquisition - through socialization (emulating adult or media examples; elicitation, or being treated in gendered ways; education) and ritual (e.g., rites of passage). Evaluate each particular example in terms of how it's supposed to work (and what it's meant to convey about gender), and how it seems actually to work (or not) in practice. What means of gender acquisition seems to you to be most powerful? Why?
  3. Gender and Labor: Write an essay discussing how gender relations are, in part, formed, reproduced, and contested in labor relations. Possible theses to develop could begin with - but are not restricted to - the following foci: a contrast between how gender and labor are organized in agrarian versus wage labor societies; a discussion of gaps between ideologies and social realities (lived experiences) of gender and labor in either agrarian or wage labor societies; how gender and labor relations have also been informed by - and reproduced - ideologies about race historically. Your arguments should engage the arguments and data of at least three authors (e.g., Collier Ehrenreich and English, Rapp, Nakano Glenn, Romero, Freeman, Weston, McDowell).


Second Paper

Sample Student Paper (PDF) (Courtesy of Aayesha Siddiqui. Used with permission.)

The aim of this second paper is critically to engage an issue of current social concern and controversy in the U.S. With reference to both theoretical and ethnographic case study materials from our readings, drawing from US and other cultural settings.

First Draft Due in Lec #17

Please consider meeting with the writing tutor about your paper at the rough draft stage - once you've completed much of this draft! - and/or when planning your revisions after receiving my comments on your draft.

Papers are to be 7-8 double-spaced pages (roughly 2,000 words). Do not exceed 8 pages. These are argumentative papers - develop your own thesis and argue it by marshalling evidence from our readings, films, class discussions, media articles. Be sure to engage the arguments of at least three of our authors. All papers should speak to intersections of gender, sex, sexuality.

Choose an area of contemporary cultural, legal, political and/or ethical concern or debate:

  1. Sex assignment surgery on infants with ambiguous genitalia or other medical/social. Issue concerning gender and intersexuality or hermaphrodism. See Eugenides, Chase, Nanda, Fausto-Sterling.
  2. Origin stories/explanatory theories of same-sex sexual desire/practice. Critically discuss the search for "universal" causes (both essentialist and constructivist) and/or the significance of personal origin stories for the "sexual lifeways" of individuals. e.g., you could compare vestidas and mayates in working class urban Mexico (Prieur) with gays, lesbians, bisexuals within a segment of US society (see Stein, Katz, Bérubé, Rich), or focus on one cultural setting.
  3. Understanding transgender/transsexualism (see Heyes, etc.) does this challenge or reinforce sex/gender dualisms? you might want to consider this comparatively, alongside intersex (Chase, Fausto-Sterling, Eugenides) or androgyny.
  4. Gay marriage and/or parenting. See Katz, Rich, Stein, Lewin, Yanagisako, Collier and Rosaldo, etc.
  5. Gender and the body - body work and gender performance; the body as resource for gender - is this a predominantly feminine preoccupation? does it work similarly or differently for femininity and masculinity? why? see Counihan, Gremillion, Prieur, Heyes, etc.

Write a paper identifying specific concerns related to one of these topics, analyzing the cultural, historical, and political-economic elements that make this a social issue (its "problematization," to use Foucault's term; see Prieur pp. 126-27). To do so, draw on recent news stories, popular magazine articles, op-ed pieces, legal decisions as well as case studies presented in our readings. You will want to describe briefly the key arguments or positions on the issue, but the majority of your paper will be devoted to your interpretation and analysis of it. This means you will want to address the following sorts of questions: WHY this has become an issue of social concern now, at this historical moment, and why are the particular terms of debate as they are? What is at stake here symbolically, materially, and institutionally in these debates or negotiations about gender and sexuality; that is, what are the real and/or perceived repercussions for individuals and for a society? Conclude your essay with a brief discussion of what your analysis leads you to advocate - this could be a specific legal or political action, a line of scholarly inquiry, an education policy, etc.



Third Paper

For this paper, I encourage you to write a paper concerning the subjective, personal experience of having a gendered sense of self, identity, embodiment. This doesn't have to be your personal experience, per se, but I'd like you to explore how and why people respond in their everyday lives to the kinds of cultural scripts we've been tracing. The specific topic is open. Write a paper that you want to write.

You could write about sexual violence, birth control (as private matter and/or subject of state interest), sex ed, pregnancy and ultrasound, the abortion debate and ethics of abortion in the US as compared with Greece, ideologies and realities of "the family" - any of the topics we've recently addressed. Or you could propose a topic we haven't touched on directly: an anthropological analysis of contemporary dating, for instance. In the past, students have interviewed their own mothers or peers about their experiences (e.g., teenage motherhood, parenting a child with disabilities, sex ed, etc.).

Paper Proposal Due in Lec #22

Submit a topic, thesis statement (what you plan to argue) and outline of what you plan to cover. If possible, an introductory paragraph would be nice to get. Also list the articles you plan to use. You must make use of class materials, quoting and engaging the arguments of at least Three authors we've read. Authors addressing 'experience' include Abu-Lughod, Counihan, Stein, Heyes, di Leonardo, Landsman, Layne, Petchesky, etc. Proposals can be emailed to me or submitted in hard copy.

Please consider meeting with the writing tutor. And do come talk with me, before or after class, or by appointment.

Papers are to be 7-8 double-spaced pages (roughly 2,000 words). Do not exceed 8 pages.

If you're stuck coming up with a topic and approach, please see or email me! I can also suggest relevant outside readings.

Final Paper Due in Lec #25 - our last class. This is a fixed due date (late papers will be docked).





Study Materials

This section includes handouts that were provided to students during the course.

  • PDF)

  • The Intersex Society of North America (PDF)





Related Resources

Intersex Society of North America

People in Search of Safe Restrooms

Map of State Regulation of Abortion from FRONTLINE®: The Last Abortion Clinic

Same-Sex Marriage: A Selective Bibliography of the Legal Literature



In the News

Contra-Contraception

Pro-Life Nation

S.D. Makes Abortion Rare Through Laws And Stigma

S.D. Abortion Bill Takes Aim at ‘Roe’

The John/Joan Case Updated

Military Retaining More Gays

Many Couples Must Negotiate Terms of ‘Brokeback’ Marriages

Straight, Gay, or Lying? Bisexuality Revisted.

The Hetersexual Revolution

Unwed Fathers Fight for Babies Placed for Adoption by Mothers

Wanted: A Few Good Sperm

Why Do So Few Women Reach the Top of Big Law Firms?

Diminished by Discrimination We Scarcely See

For Women in Sciences, Slow Progress in Academia

Before Spring Break, The Anorexic Challenge

Standing Up After Fearing Standing Out

The Man Date




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