At which campus can I study this program?
The minor in Sexuality and Gender Studies addresses human sexuality and gender as they have been conceptualized and investigated by diverse disciplines:
- humanities (including history and cultural studies),
- behavioral and social sciences,
- biological sciences, and
- visual and performance arts.
Courses in the minor require students to explore scholarship and research on sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender across the lifespan, across cultures, and throughout history. Developing students' critical skills in a variety of disciplines, courses in the minor cover theories of
- sexuality and gender;
- sexual orientation;
- lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movements;
- the history of sexual norms;
- queer theory;
- gender identity;
- and impact of gender identities and erotic orientations on the arts; etc.
What is Sexuality and Gender Studies?
Sexuality and Gender Studies investigates human sexuality and gender identity from a broad, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural perspective. Over the course of history and development of diverse cultures, notions of sexuality and gender have varied. Sexuality and Gender Studies pushes beyond a binary understanding of sex and gender, while interrogating the development and maintenance of norms. For example, a minor in Sexuality and Gender Studies helps students to question how gender identity, sexuality, and ideas of "normal" work in tandem with race, ethnicity, nationality, class, disability, age, religion, and more to create social categories that result in structural, institutional, and ideological inequality and oppression. This program draws from many disciplines, each one contributing a unique perspective on how we “live” our gender and sexuality, to enable students to analyze the myriad dimensions of human identity and experience that are shaped by sexuality and gender.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You want to translate your curiosities, experiences, passions and interests into actionable and meaningful work.
- You seek out inclusive environments, with persons of different backgrounds, cultures, and races to understand their points of view.
- You are passionate about gender equity, human rights, and social justice.
- You want to explore how gender and sexuality play a role in culture, the arts, literature, health, politics, the sciences, law, and education.
- You see yourself as a change agent in this world!
|Requirements for the Minor||18|
Requirements for the Minor
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|ENGL 245||Introduction to LGBTQ Studies||3|
|HDFS/WMNST 250||Sexual Identity over the Life Span||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select at least 12 credits (at least 6 credits at the 400 level) from the two categories below, with a minimum of 3 credits from each category, of the following: 1||12|
|A. Sexuality Studies in Humanities and the Arts|
|Gender and Sexuality in China|
|Sexuality and Modern Visual Culture|
|Introduction to Queer Theory|
|Family and Gender Roles in Modern History|
|History of Sexuality|
|Lesbian and Gay History|
|Love and Sex|
|Representing Women and Gender in Literature, Art and Popular Cultures|
|Debates in Contemporary Feminism|
|B. Sexuality Studies in the Sciences|
|Racism and Sexism|
|Sex and Evolution|
|The Evolution of Human Mating|
|Anthropology of Gender|
|Introduction to Health and Human Sexuality|
|Straight Talks I: Advanced Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Peer Education|
|Gender and Biobehavioral Health|
|Human Sexuality as a Health Concern|
|Biology of Sex|
|Gender and Social Development|
|Introduction to the Psychology of Gender|
|The Psychology of Gender|
|Sociology of Gender|
In order to fulfill the interdisciplinary nature of the minor, students must study both in arts and humanities and in sciences. With the permission of the person in charge of the minor, "Special Topics" courses may be substituted for courses listed.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program
Employers today value effective communication, analytical thinking, and teamwork. With its emphasis on how gender, sexuality, race and other forms of diversity impact the experiences of every individual, this curriculum trains its minors to recognize the impacts of bias and unequal social power in the social, cultural and political arenas. Graduates enter their post-graduate world sensitive to diverse perspectives that can either facilitate or impede team building, problem solving, and negotiation. Sexuality and Gender Studies graduates—no matter where their career paths lead—are committed to the kind of institutional and social change that values all voices, and supports social justice.
Sexuality and Gender Studies graduates from Penn State work in a wide variety of professions and industries. You will find us in the legal profession (one alumna runs her own legal firm, serving lower-income clients and gender-based discrimination cases). Others work in communications, marketing and advertising, business, banking and human resources. Activist students find their way into non-profits, advocacy groups, government, human development, journalism and communications. Women’s health is a dynamic field—medical care, nursing and research positions are out there, as well as health administration. Teaching attracts many of our graduates.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
The scholarly field of Sexuality and Gender Studies prepares students to study some of the most complex challenges in a world where gender, race, class, sexuality and power are always intertwined. As an interdisciplinary field, it spans the arts and sciences, the humanities, and policy fields and provides applicable training for students seeking to continue their studies. Our scholars gain experience as researchers and teachers with the innovative tools to prepare them as leaders across the public, private and educational sectors.