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College of Arts & Sciences

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Why choose Gender and Sexuality Studies at North Central?

Conversations around gender and sexuality permeate our daily lives, whether we’re at the doctor’s office or in the voting booth, traveling abroad or tweeting about pop culture. The gender and sexuality studies program explores questions about sex and gender, traditional and emerging gender definitions and roles, what it means to be an ally and what it means to be LGBTQ+. A minor in gender and sexuality studies is applicable to any profession in our diverse and evolving global workforce.

At North Central College, you’ll talk about gender and sexuality in relation to racism, sexism, classism, heteropatriarchy and other enforced systems in society. We are committed to seeking out new ways to address hierarchy and conflict through accountability and healing. In this important program, you’ll be prepared for graduate school or a variety of industries like marketing, theatre, education, political science or religious studies. Whatever your postgraduate plans, gender and sexuality studies can help to make an impact on local and global communities.


  • Advancing knowledge of issues relevant to LGBTQIA+ identifying people
  • Providing expertise on gender, race, sexuality and class relations
  • Understanding gender inequalities at work, LGBT health issues and public policy

then a minor in GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES might be for you.

Why study gender and sexuality studies at North Central College?

In the Classroom

Coursework topics:

  • Black Narrative
  • Feminism, Gender, Queer Theory
  • Feminist Economics
  • Gender and Ethics
  • Gender and Literary Feminisms
  • Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities
  • Gender, Sexuality and Mass Media
  • Global Views: Women in Science
  • Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values
  • Nineteenth-Century Europe: Sex and Mass Hysteria
  • Sex, Gender and Sexuality
  • Sexuality and Christianity
  • U.S. Women’s History 
  • Women and the Bible

Beyond the Classroom

As a gender and sexuality studies minor you can:

  • Apply for internships and jobs through robust faculty and alumni networks or the Center for Career and Professional Development.
  • Participate in discussions on topics like women’s rights activism, gender-based violence, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive health care, transgender identity, masculinity in performance, and religious perspectives on sex and gender.
  • Attend special presentations by visiting scholars and organizers at the forefront of 21st century developments in Gender and sexuality studies.

More Department information

Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor

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

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.

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes


An additional twelve credit hours, with at least four at the 300-level or above.

  • GSST 230 - Women and the Bible

    GSST 230 - Women and the Bible

    4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 234 - Gender and Literary Feminisms

    GSST 234 - Gender and Literary Feminisms

    4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 235 - Sexuality and Christianity

    GSST 235 - Sexuality and Christianity

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of contemporary Christian approaches to sexuality in dialogue with secular philosophies of sexuality.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 242 - U.S. Women's History

    GSST 242 - U.S. Women's History

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination 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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 300 - Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values

    GSST 300 - Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values

    4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 340 - Global Views: Women in Science

    GSST 340 - Global Views: Women in Science

    4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 350 - Gender and World Religions

    GSST 350 - Gender and World Religions

    4.00 credit hours

    An analysis of feminist thought in global religious traditions. This course discusses women's redefinition of traditional concepts, rituals, and practices in a number of religious traditions across the globe.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 389 - Gender, Sexuality and Mass Media

    GSST 389 - Gender, Sexuality and Mass Media

    4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 390 - Gender and Sexuality in the World

    GSST 390 - Gender and Sexuality in the World

    4.00 credit hours

    Specialized topics examine the constructions of gender and sexuality in a variety of cultural contexts across the globe. Content defined by the individual instructor.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GSST 395 - Gender and Ethics

    GSST 395 - Gender and Ethics

    1.00-4.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CLSS 385 - Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

    CLSS 385 - Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

    4.00 credit hours

    Study of selected topics relating gender and sexuality within the civilizations of Greek and Roman antiquity (ca. 800 BCE–400 CE), including some attention to: beliefs and customs pertaining to gender developed and changed over time and in relation to changing social, cultural and political contexts; types of sources available for studying private lives of ancient Greek and Romans; and influence of studies on ancient gender on the development of Gender Studies as a discipline.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ECON 230 - Feminist Economics

    ECON 230 - Feminist Economics

    4.00 credit hours

    Feminist economics analyzes both economic theory and economic life through the lens of gender and advocates various forms of economic transformation. In this course, students explore this new field in economics through a theoretical and empirical introduction to the subject, critical assessment of mainstream analyses of gender differences and inequality, and implications of feminist economics to access, equity and the environment.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ENGL 222 - Global Literature

    ENGL 222 - Global Literature

    4.00 credit hours

    Students explore literature from the erstwhile colonies in South Asia, Africa and Australia to examine the relation between representation and nationalism. Students focus in particular on identity, gender, resistance and reconciliation.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ENGL 232 - Black Narrative

    ENGL 232 - Black Narrative

    4.00 credit hours

    From slave narratives to folk tales to fiction, storytelling has played a role in asserting the value of black lives and challenging oppression. Students examine black narratives as channels for creative expression and social intervention. Discussions focus on how historical contexts and literary traditions interact; how racism shapes the social map and personal experience; and how gender, sexuality and class intersect.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HIST 280 - Nineteenth-Century Europe: Sex and Mass Hysteria

    HIST 280 - Nineteenth-Century Europe: Sex and Mass Hysteria

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of Europe from the French Revolution to the First World War, with special attention to issues of gender and sexuality. Major topics include the relationship between French terror and patriarchy, psycho-social consequences of the industrial revolution, Victorian socio-cultural norms, British imperial ideologies and the impact of the First World War on gender roles.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHIL 320 - Feminist Philosophy

    PHIL 320 - Feminist Philosophy

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines feminist contributions to and criticisms of philosophy. Students are exposed to both historical and contemporary figures in feminist philosophy, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone De Beauvoir, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and Judith Butler. Topics include women's rights, feminist political and ethical theory, the role of gender in identity formation, and gender at the intersection of race and class.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 220 - First Ladies: Symbol of American Womanhood

    POLS 220 - First Ladies: Symbol of American Womanhood

    4.00 credit hours

    A theoretical examination of the evolving role of the first lady from party hostess to policy advocate. While discussions of first ladies have often been relegated to internal dynamics of their relationships with their husbands, redecorating, and clothing, we will dive into the nuanced job of the first lady by reading the scholarship, while scant, on the progressing role of the first lady. Specific attention is paid to particular first ladies who have made significant impacts in the way the first lady is expected to behave.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 312 - Women in American Politics

    POLS 312 - Women in American Politics

    4.00 credit hours

    If women have now surpassed men in both number of total Americans as well as percent of the electorate that votes, why do women comprise such a small portion of all of those who hold political power? The position of women in the American political system has evolved over time from being left out of the Constitution, to the suffrage movement, to the equal rights movement, the Lily Ledbetter Act, to Hillary Clinton's historic run for the presidency. Nonetheless, there are structural components of the American society and political system that have created disequilibrium between men and women. We examine the institutional, psychological, economic, and sociocultural causes and effects of such disequilibrium.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SGBH 311 - Philosophy of Race and Gender

    SGBH 311 - Philosophy of Race and Gender

    4.00 credit hours

    Students examine significant works in the philosophy of race and gender to guide us in a study of the interplay between power, subjectivity, race, gender, and ethics.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • or SGBS 311 Philosophy of Race and Gender 

  • SGBS 310 - Feminist Theories

    SGBS 310 - Feminist Theories

    4.00 credit hours

    Students examine how gender roles are socially constructed. Students study various historical and contemporary approaches to feminist theory and apply these insights to an analysis of contemporary society.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 344 - Sport in Society

    SOCI 344 - Sport in Society

    4.00 credit hours

    An historical-comparative analysis of sport across time and cultures and its uses in ancient, medieval and modern societies is undertaken. Examines work-leisure patterns that developed over the course of American history. Primary consideration of the urban, industrial and commercial processes that contributed to culture formation, with particular emphases on class and gender relations, commercialized leisure practices and the impact of the mass media in the formation of value systems.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 350 - Social Life and Social Theory

    SOCI 350 - Social Life and Social Theory

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction, review and application of classic and modern sociological theories to everyday life. Emphasis placed upon the attempts to understand the emergence of modern and post-modern times and the underlying problems brought about by these social developments. Applications of social thought to issues of work, marriage, deviance, presentations of self, love, police work, gender, consumer behavior and punishment.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 342 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    SOCI 342 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines topics from a sociological and feminist perspective including 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 family dynamics. Thought-provoking discussions explore ideals about love, marriage, gender, parenthood, sex and sexuality-scientifically considering both the "public" and "private" dimensions of families over the course of the semester.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    2.00 credit hours

    Explores the social construction and importance of gender and sexualities in our social world including life experiences, opportunity structures and institutions, such as the military and the media. Evaluates who is privileged and disadvantaged in this categorization system and some of the ways in which current practices are being challenged. Particular attention paid to the intersection of race/ethnicity, social class and disabilities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 222 - Power-Based Personal Violence

    SOCI 222 - Power-Based Personal Violence

    4.00 credit hours

    Debunks pervasive myths by delving into the causes and consequences of Power-Based Personal Violence, which takes many forms (e.g. harassment, stalking, sexual assault, intimate partner violence). Utilizes the lenses of intersectionality and social justice. Engages deeply with community partner prevention programs and trains with a strengths-based model of survivor empowerment. Makes space for candid conversations about the emotional impact of researching PBPV and anticipated career challenges in fields, such as criminal justice and social services.

    Schedule Of Classes


A student may not receive credit toward the GSST minor for both PHIL 320 and SGBS 310.

Gender and Sexuality Studies Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.


  • Sarah's Inn, Oak Park, IL
  • Domestic Violence Courthouse, Chicago

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in Gender and Sexuality Studies have been accepted at:

  • Emporia State University, Portland, OR
  • Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL


Recent graduates in Gender and Sexuality Studies have worked at:

  • Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Aurora, IL

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