Gender Studies Minor Degree
The Gender Studies minor degree program offers an interdisciplinary field of scholarship that focuses on the changed and changing roles of men and women in the modern world. By minoring in gender studies, students delve into areas of knowledge relevant to both men's and women's lives today. Courses are available in a number of departments in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, including history, political science, English, communications, psychology, and sociology.
The Gender Studies minor degree program challenges negative stereotypes of women; employs conceptual categories that make women’s experiences visible; treats women’s experiences as equal in importance to those of men; and identifies values, traditions, practices, and perspectives that can be considered distinctively female. Students become aware of gender constructions found in all areas of their own lives, allowing them to better prepare for our contemporary world where family and work are rapidly changing around gendered issues, including care for children, affirmative action and other work issues, sexuality, and changing definitions of family life and roles. Whatever their ideals and beliefs, students in this program will be better able to make informed decisions about the debated concerns underlying changing policies and legislative issues. The Gender Studies degree program is of value to students entering any professional field and will better inform them for the many personal decisions they will meet around family and relationships.
The Gender Studies degree program analyzes the structural and cultural underpinnings of sexism and women's inequality. It also:
- evaluates values, traditions, practices, and perspectives historically associated with various groups of women
- interrogates the social construction of gender roles
- analyzes the historical, political, economic, and cultural structures that have contributed to discriminatory or liberatory practices regarding gender, sexuality, and intersecting systems of oppression
- scrutinizes the social construction of gender roles
- analyzes social constructions of masculinity and how these stereotypes develop, operate, and affect society at large
- examines human sexuality; employs conceptual categories that make the experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning people visible; seeks to understand and evaluate the meaning and function of heterosexuality in society, politics, and thought
- explores how class, race, and ethnic or national identity inform, modify, or challenge various understandings and practices of sex, gender, and sexuality