Gender and Sexuality Studies Gender and Sexuality Studies Gender and Sexuality Studies Gender and Sexuality Studies Gender and Sexuality Studies

Interdisciplinary Programs

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Questions?

Suzanne Chod

+1 630 637 5245

smchod@noctrl.edu

How do we make distinctions among human beings based on their physical sex?

How are we gendered –– that is, how are we taught to become men and women, both here in the United States and in other cultures?

How is our sexual identity intertwined with cultural understandings of our physical sex, gender roles and behaviors?

These crucial questions inspire the gender and sexuality studies (GSS) program, an exciting interdisciplinary field of study.

If you choose to minor in gender and sexuality studies, or create your own individualized major, you will

  • undertake in-depth studies of women and men in history, language and literature, the arts, sciences, education, religion, philosophy and the business world
  • take courses from our passionately committed faculty of 20 men and women from across campus who are engaged in contemporary debates on sex, gender and sexual identity 
  • be prepared for careers in education, childcare, social and community work, counseling, healthcare and medicine, law and communications fields, among others
  • gain an academic foundation for graduate studies in gender and sexuality studies.

Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor

For additional information and courses in this department, see Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

Core Requirements

  • GSST 100 - Introduction to Sex, Gender and Sexuality

    GSST 100 - Introduction to Sex, Gender and Sexuality

    4.00 credit hours

    How do history, policies and cultural norms produce, shape, and govern our understandings of gender and sexuality? In what ways do gender and sexuality intersect with each other as well as other forms of identification, such as race, disability, age, ethnicity, citizenship and class? In this interdisciplinary course, we discuss gender and sexuality as social constructions and investigate the ways in which they are connected to power and inequality. By first exploring key term, theories, and concepts within Gender and Sexuality Studies, we then situate them alongside the history of feminist and LGBTQ activism. We will then consider how these concepts can be applied to a variety of contemporary issues such as: gender and sexual identities and the government (i.e. equal pay, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage), representations of gender and sexuality in popular culture and the media, and relationships.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 370 - Feminism, Gender, Queer Theory

    GSST 370 - Feminism, Gender, Queer Theory

    4.00 credit hours

    A rigorous study of the intellectual and activist traditions of diverse "feminisms" as well as the academic fields of gender and queer theory. This course asks students to consider gender and sexuality as constructed categories with powerful material consequences, exploring how these categories shape individual experience, social dynamics, and historical movements. Our approach will be intersectional; we will ask how various aspects of identity-such as race, class, and nationality-interact with gender and complicate easy definitions of privilege, oppression, and activism. The course also includes a significant comparative element, considering theories of gender and sexuality across cultural and national borders.

    Prerequisite(s)

    GSST 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

An additional twelve credit hours from Gender and Sexuality Studies, with at least four at the 300-level or above.

Note:

PHIL 320 may count as an elective toward the minor. Courses from other programs and departments may also count toward the minor with approval of the GSST Coordinator.

If you want to major in gender and sexuality studies, a faculty member will work with you to design an individualized program that relates to your personal and professional goals.

NOTE: The courses listed herein have been approved by the faculty as authorized by the Board of Trustees.  Prerequisites (if any) and the General Education Requirement(s) which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description.

Current course offerings are available in Merlin.

GSST 100 Introduction to Sex, Gender and Sexuality (4.00)How do history, policies and cultural norms produce, shape, and govern our understandings of gender and sexuality? In what ways do gender and sexuality intersect with each other as well as other forms of identification, such as race, disability, age, ethnicity, citizenship and class? In this interdisciplinary course, we discuss gender and sexuality as social constructions and investigate the ways in which they are connected to power and inequality. By first exploring key term, theories, and concepts within Gender and Sexuality Studies, we then situate them alongside the history of feminist and LGBTQ activism. We will then consider how these concepts can be applied to a variety of contemporary issues such as: gender and sexual identities and the government (i.e. equal pay, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage), representations of gender and sexuality in popular culture and the media, and relationships.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity.

GSST 220 Sociology of Families (4.00)
The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure.

GSST 230 Women and the Bible (4.00)
(Same as: RELG 230.) An introductory course that examines how women are depicted in biblical tradition. Students will carefully read narratives about women in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament and explore their history of interpretation, including contemporary readings.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity, Being Human.

GSST 234 Gender and Literary Feminisms (4.00)
(Same as: ENGL 234.) Students explore gender’s place in literature from a variety of cultures, time periods, and genres. Discussions focus on representations of gender; how creative writing links to political work to challenge inequality; how writers interrogate the category “woman”; and how gender intersects with race, class, sexuality, and religion.
Prerequisite(s): GSST 100 or one 100-level English course.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity.

GSST 235 Sexuality and Christianity (4.00)
(Same as: RELG 235.) A study of contemporary Christian approaches to sexuality in dialogue with secular philosophies of sexuality.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, Ethical Dimensions, U.S. Power Structures.

GSST 242 U.S. Women's History (4.00)
(Same as: HIST 242.) A survey of American women's history from colonial times to the present. Exploration of women's legal and political status, educational and occupational opportunities, family relations and health with special attention on how and why lives and experiences of women have changed over time. Analysis of the history that women share as a group as well as differences among specific groups of women. 

GSST 300 Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values (4.00)
(Same as: BIOL 300.) In traditional topics in human sexuality (e.g., natural essence of sexuality, reproductive biology, sex research, marriage and other arrangements, reproductive issues) there is a clash of values both within and between cultures. This course includes such controversial issues as religious perspectives, pornography, the media, prostitution, and female circumcision which serve to explore problems that result from the clash of values.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

GSST 310 Sociology of Gender and Sexuality (4.00)
The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism.

GSST 340 Global Views: Women in Science (4.00)
Examination of global issues facing 20th century women in science. Current literature will be used to explore how socioeconomic and cultural differences impact retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Discussion topics will include the driving forces behind women’s perception of their lack of ability in these disciplines, gender biases facing women, and current trends in science education of girls and women. Emphasis is placed on what advances for women in STEM disciplines have occurred over the last century, and what disparities still need to be resolved.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Global Understanding, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity, Examining Health.

GSST 350 Gender and World Religions (4.00)
(Same as: RELG 350.) An analysis of feminist thought in global religious traditions. The course discusses women's redefinition of traditional concepts, rituals, and practices in a number of religious traditions across the globe.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity, Thinking Globally.

GSST 370 Feminism, Gender, Queer Theory (4.00)
A rigorous study of the intellectual and activist traditions of diverse “feminisms” as well as the academic fields of gender and queer theory. This course asks students to consider gender and sexuality as constructed categories with powerful material consequences, exploring how these categories shape individual experience, social dynamics, and historical movements. Our approach will be intersectional; we will ask how various aspects of identity-such as race, class, and nationality-interact with gender and complicate easy definitions of privilege, oppression, and activism. The course also includes a significant comparative element, considering theories of gender and sexuality across cultural and national borders.
Prerequisite(s): GSST 100.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.

GSST 389 Gender, Sexuality and Mass Media (4.00)
(Same as: COMM 389.) An advanced introduction to the complex relations between gender and the mass media. Special emphasis is placed on the social construction of gender and sexuality, representations of the body and feminist theories of media.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Being Human, Challenging Inequity.

GSST 390 Gender and Sexuality in the World (4.00)
Specialized topics examine the constructions of gender and sexuality in a variety of cultural contexts across the globe. Content defined by the individual instructor.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

GSST 395 Gender and Ethics (4.00)
Specialized topics examine women’s experience, women’s ways of knowing, ethical systems and feminist critique, patriarchy, dualistic thinking, gender oppression, care ethics, ethical dilemmas. Content defined by the individual instructor.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

GSST 497 Internship (0.00-12.00)
Instructor consent required.

GSST 499 Independent Study (1.00-12.00)
Instructor consent required.

Suzanne Chod

Associate Professor of Political Science; Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Political Science
+1 630 637 5245
Mara K. Berkland

Professor of Communication
Communication
+1 630 637 5367
Shelley Birdsong

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Religious Studies
+1 630 637 5314
Natalia De Lima Bracarense

Associate Professor of Economics
Economics
+1 630 637 5458
Michael de Brauw

Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages; Coordinator of Classical Studies
Modern & Classical Languages
+1 630 637 5123
Ann Dolinko
Ann Dolinko

Visiting Professor in the Shimer Great Books School
Shimer Great Books
+1 630 637 5483
Margaret Gill

Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Psychology and Neuroscience
+1 630 637 5463
Shereen Ilahi

Associate Professor of History; Director of General Education
History
+1 630 637 5616
Jennifer Keys

Assistant Provost for Teaching & Learning; Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence, CAFÉ
Cntr for Advmt of Fac Excel
+1 630 637 5313
Steve Macek

Professor of Communication; Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies
Communication
+1 630 637 5369
Megan Cole Paustian

Associate Professor of English
English
+1 630 637 5274
Wioleta Polinska

Professor of Religious Studies; Chairperson, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy
Religious Studies
+1 630 637 5317
Jennifer Sallee

Associate Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5183
Jelena Sanchez

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Modern & Classical Languages
+1 630 637 5275
Tammy Wynard

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology; Chairperson, of the Department of Kinesiology
Kinesiology
+1 630 637 5743
John Zenchak

Professor of Biology
Biology
+1 630 637 5182

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your gender and sexuality studies education.

Our faculty will help you find opportunities on campus or off that fulfill your interests and ambitions in the field. In the past, students have combined their class work with off-campus internships at domestic violence shelters, non-government organizations or with women-oriented publications.

You might also participate in student groups like Students Increasing Sisterhood (SIS), the Sociology and Anthropology Club, and Alliance.