Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to encourage students to focus critically on gender and sexuality. Many of our courses investigate how assumptions about gender and/or sexuality operate in society, shaping feminine, masculine, transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer identities, and how they influence social and political structures. Recent work in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has demonstrated the need to reexamine past work in such fields as history, economics, psychology, and literature to create a curriculum that represents the history and achievement of women as well as men, glbtq people as well as heterosexuals, while reflecting on the ways that assumptions about gender and sexuality shape academic disciplines. Integral to the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the idea of intersectionality- that (amongst other axes of identification) race, ethnicity, class, ability, nationality, and religion are important factors in the any critical understanding of gender and sexuality. Equally central is the challenge of interdisciplinarity WGSS represents: what it means, for example, to read Toni Morrison’s Beloved in light of racialized notions of femininity, to use gender theory to examine the ways norms of heterosexual masculinity inform Western political philosophy, to analyze the impact class and race in the U.S. has on women’s access to health care, or to consider the particular impact globalwarming or HIV/AIDS has on women in developing countries because of the gendered division of labor.


What do you do with a WGSS major? (more)

Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor of Illinois
Chicago, IL
MLSW, Private Practice
Specializing in Eating Disorders and Adolescents
Albuquerque, NM
Program Manager, Adolescent Health at the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Washington, D.C.
6th grade science teacher
Louisville, KY
United Methodist Pastor, finishing PhD in Feminist Theology
Somerville, MA
Film editor, currently with Grey’s Anatomy
Santa Monica, CA
Estate planning attorney; full-time mother
Rochester, NY
Community organizer, Cypress Hills Advocates for Education, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice
Brooklyn, NY
General Internal Medicine faculty @ University of Washington
Father of a 3-year-old boy
Seattle, WA
Transgender Rights Attorney, Lambda Legal
Atlanta, GA