Gender, Sexuality, and Society

A sign for a unisex bathroom.

A sign for a unisex bathroom captures the symbolic, ideological, and institutional nature of the gender/sex dilemma. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Jerz. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number

21A.231J / WGS.455J

As Taught In

Spring 2006



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course seeks to examine how people experience gender - what it means to be a man or a woman - and sexuality in a variety of historical and cultural contexts. We will explore how gender and sexuality relate to other categories of social identity and difference, such as race and ethnicity, economic and social standing, urban or rural life, etc. One goal of the class is to learn how to critically assess media and other popular representations of gender roles and stereotypes. Another is to gain a greater sense of the diversity of human social practices and beliefs in the United States and around the world.

Related Content

Heather Paxson. 21A.231J Gender, Sexuality, and Society. Spring 2006. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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