Academics

The University of Delaware proudly offers a Women’s Studies major and a Sexualities & Gender Studies minor.  Some examples of the rich diversity in our course offerings include:

Cultural Introduction to Sexualities and Gender Studies
An exploration of the variations in the social construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transsexual, transgender and queer identities and communities in contemporary American society through study of gay literature, history, theory, religious and legal issues and the arts including film, music, television, and visual arts.
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Study of causes and conditions determining women’s status in society, as evidenced in institutional structures and personal relations between men and women. Taught from multidisciplinary perspectives.
Contemporary Moral Problems
The application of philosophical techniques to contemporary moral problems such as abortion, punishment, biomedical ethics, reverse discrimination and sexual morality.
Current Issues in Sexuality and Gender Lecture Series
Lecture series in which faculty and guest speakers discuss their research on contemporary and historical perspectives on sexuality and gender. Research presented from several disciplines, including sociology, history, literature, art, music, anthropology and psychology, among others.
Men and Women in American Society
Designed to provide students with a sociological framework for analyzing sex and gender relations in contemporary American society. Topics include the social construction of gender, patterns of sex-role socialization, gender stratification in the paid work force, gender relations in the family and other social institutions.
Queer Sexual Imagery in the Visual Arts
Introduction to the diversities of representation of the human body in western visual art with an emphasis on coded as well as explicit images of queer sexuality.
Introduction to Feminist Theory
The concepts of love, marriage, sexuality, family, work, power and equality of women. Theories of women and their position in society, including classical Marxism, the status politics of the suffragettes, radical feminism and socialist feminism.
Language and Gender
Explores various ways in which gender is reflected in language. Topics include sexism in language, sexist language and differences in the structural aspects of men’s and women’s language and conversational style. Emphasis on the social implications of these differences.
Food, Gender and Culture
Explores how preparing, eating, and thinking about food demonstrates culturally determined gender and power relations in different societies. Using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives, explores various understandings of issues such as nutrition, eating disorders, body images, and gender differences around food.
Women and Gender in International Films
Through viewing feature films about women and/or gender in cultures outside that of mainstream United States, explores how sex and gender shape lives and experiences. Enriches understanding of the diversity of gendered cultural norms and ways filmmakers choose to illustrate them.
Gay and Lesbian Film
Explores gay and lesbian issues represented in film and an academic analysis of these issues. Through film, students study the social constructs of sexuality and gender, analyze the role of homosexuality, examine the development of gay and lesbian characterization, and explore the differences between sex and sexuality.
The Evolution of Human Sex Roles and Reproduction
Survey of the evolution of human reproduction and sex differences. Evidence derived from the human fossil record, living non-human primates, modern biological differences between human males and females and cross-cultural comparisons of reproductive behavior and sex roles.
Islam and Gender
Uses anthropological case studies and historical material to comprehend ideals, practices, and themes of gender and gender relations in Islam. Introduces representations of Islamic belief in doctrinal, historical, and contemporary contexts.
Feminism and Sexualities
Examines issues of sexual identity from a feminist perspective and may focus on topics such as cross-dressing, transgenderism, queer studies, etc.
Race, Gender, Science
Critically examines a number of metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues related to science of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Topics may include (a)evolution of sex and gender, (b) gender and cognition, (c) biological basis, or lack thereof, of sexual orientation/preference (d) evolutionary, cognitive, historical, and political origins of race thinking, (d) relationship between everyday conceptions of race and gender as compared with scientific conceptions of race and gender, (e)ethical issues raised by human kind classification schemes.
Feminist Cultural Studies
Situates cultural forms created by women in historical context. Novels, poems, television, plays, rituals, film, paintings, music, electronic media, technology, sculpture, food, clothing and/or architecture reveal perspectives of women’s time, class, nation, race, and ethnicity. Relates feminism, gender and the production of culture.
Gender and Criminal Justice
Reviews historical and contemporary explanations for women’s participation in crime and evaluates these explanations in light of current research on gender. Other topics include treatment of women offenders by judicial and correctional systems, women as victims of crime and women as criminal justice personnel.
Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Social realities of women within the cultures of Asia, Africa and Latin American societies. How institutions such as motherhood, the family, sexuality and work structure women’s lives within the dominant social ideologies.
History of Sexuality in the U.S.
A survey of American sexual ideals, practices, and identities, from the Colonial period to the present. How anxieties about interracial sex shaped life in the American South, how the advent of more reliable contraceptives provoked both social movements and political debate, and how the emergence of a scientific discourse of sexual difference simultaneously propelled the gay rights movement and enabled scientists to categorize same-sex love as pathology and perversion.
Foundations of Human Sexuality
A multidisciplinary study of human sexuality focusing on the implications for individuals and society of the biological, psychological and sociocultural determinants of human sexuality. Deals with sexually explicit material.
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Seminar on sex and gender relations from a sociological perspective. Surveys current research on gender stratification in the paid work force, the feminization of poverty, gender relations in the family, sexual violence, and feminism as a social movement. Special attention given to current theoretical debates on the origins and persistence of sexual inequality and the intersection of gender with race and class in patterns of social stratification.
Race, Class, and Gender
Analysis of current American social issues that show interrelationship of race, class and gender. Readings from sociology, Afro-American studies, feminist studies, history and literature.
Politics and Literature
Class, civil rights, feminism, revolution and other political issues examined through novels, film and other literary works.
Seminar: Women in the Islamic Middle East
Examines the major developments, themes and problems in women’s history in the Middle East from the advent of Islam to the present. By tracing women’s legal status, sexual morality, family and social life, and female economic and political participation, it seeks to shed light on the process of women’s roles in society and to challenge the notion that gender divisions and roles have been static over time.
Race and Sexuality
Examine sexuality as a structure of power and identity. Study how race is sexualized and sexuality is racialized. Explore the impact of binary thinking (white/non-white, straight/gay) on social relationships. The perspective of racial minorities, particularly African-Americans, is emphasized. Review research on culture, history, and policy.
Cultural Diversity, Schooling and the Teacher
Examines roles and responsibilities of the classroom teacher vis-a-vis the demographic changes occurring in United States society and the public school student population. Topics include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, poverty and language.
Leadership Development in Human Sexuality
Seminar/practicum for organizing and leading discussion groups in human sexuality. Trains group leaders to facilitate effective communication skills and responsible sexual decisions, integrating research and theories with individual and family life experiences.
Multicultural Issues in Counseling
Examines the influence of cultural background, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic factors, religious preference and age in the counseling relationship. Introduction to nontraditional theories and techniques useful with special populations. Emphasis on increased sensitivity toward cultural influences.
Gender Issues in Counseling
Examines how gender dynamics affect the counseling process. Emphasis on traditional, non-sexist and relational approaches to counseling and the gender-specific problems of clients.
Diversity in Families and Human Development
Examines the effects of factors such as class, cohort, culture, gender and other components that influence diversity in families and variations in the context of human development. Surveys the impact of socioeconomic influences and demographic changes as they relate to varied family structures and relationships over the life course.
Sexuality in Contemporary Society
A multidisciplinary approach to controversial human sexuality issues which examines and addresses societal solutions to these controversies.
Foundations of Human Sexuality
A multidisciplinary study of human sexuality focusing on the implications for individuals and society of the biological, psychological and sociocultural determinants of human sexuality. Deals with sexually explicit material.
Contemporary Moral Problems
The application of philosophical techniques to contemporary moral problems such as abortion, punishment, biomedical ethics, reverse discrimination and sexual morality.
Sociology of Popular Culture
Study the political economy of production; textual analysis; consumption and celebrity and fandom. Also, examine advertising, the effect of popular culture on violence and misogyny, and the effect of popular culture on identity, especially that of women and racial and sexual minorities.
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Seminar on sex and gender relations from a sociological perspective. Surveys current research on gender stratification in the paid work force, the feminization of poverty, gender relations in the family, sexual violence, and feminism as a social movement. Special attention given to current theoretical debates on the origins and persistence of sexual inequality and the intersection of gender with race and class in patterns of social stratification.
Social Thought and Contemporary Society
Seminar focuses on ways in which social thought defines and analyzes contemporary society. Explores how alternative theories and methods serve to create knowledge about contemporary concerns with everyday life, democracy, equality, social structure and power.
Race and Sexuality
Examine sexuality as a structure of power and identity. Study how race is sexualized and sexuality is racialized. Explore the impact of binary thinking (white/non-white, straight/gay) on social relationships. The perspective of racial minorities, particularly African-Americans, is emphasized. Review research on culture, history, and policy.
Sociology of Gender
Reviews current research and theory in the sociology of gender with particular attention to issues arising from the gender division of labor, feminism and social change, gender and the structure of social institutions, and the interaction of gender, race, class and sexuality. Introduces sociological theory and methodology as used and revised by scholars working on gender issues.
Introduction to Social Psychology
Analysis of interpersonal behavior with special emphasis on problems of conformity and influence; the organization and dynamics of social groups; and the development of opinions and attitudes.
Psychology of Human Sexuality
Examination of human sexuality using the theoretical perspectives and empirical methods of psychology. Topics include sexuality development, sexual behavior and communication, and sexual disorders and dysfunctions. Emphasis is placed on the influence that social factors have on individual sexual expression.
The Evolution of Human Sex Roles and Reproduction
Survey of the evolution of human reproduction and sex differences. Evidence derived from the human fossil record, living non-human primates, modern biological differences between human males and females and cross-cultural comparisons of reproductive behavior and sex roles.