Sociology 3046 TOPICS IN SEX AND GENDER Fall 1998

Professor: Martha E. Gimenez
Office: Ketchum 205A
Office Hours: T-Th 3:30 - 4:30 and by appointment e-mail:
Virtual Office Hours: everyday - any time


Course Description

In this course we will explore the social construction of gender, the relationship between biological sex and gender, and the relationship between gender and other forms of inequality. In addition to theories of gender inequality we will examine important debates in the field of gender studies.

Course Requirements

This is a lecture and discussion course. students are expected to attend classes regularly, read all the assignments and come prepared to participate in class discussions and structured debates. Class participation will be assessed by the quality of the comments made.

Comments that enhance the learning experience of the whole class will be rewarded.

Comments hat lower the quality of the learning experience (e.g., complaints, request for information you can obtain through other channels, comments that show lack of preparation, etc.) will lower your grade.

Lectures will be brief and focused on theoretical issues and conceptual clarification. Lectures will be related to but will not necessarily cover every aspect of the assigned readings; they are designed to supplement, NOT to replicate the readings.

Grades will be based on the following:

  1. Short Essay (10 double spaced pages or less): there are 18 debates in WOMEN, MEN, AND GENDER. You will be assigned one to examine in depth and write an essay organized as follows: a) outline the main arguments on each side; 2) choose one side and present a carefully constructed argument supporting your choice. (30 percent of the grade). This essay is due october 22.
  2. Contribution to the course home page: Search the internet and identify at least 5 relevant websites where students of sex and gender could find useful information. Write a clear, well organized statement justifying your selection. In other words, at the end of the semester, you will have contributed to construct a very important resource for this course: an annotated set of links to relevant websites. (20 percent of the grade)
  3. Take Home Final Exam. This exam will be composed of essay questions based on the topics discussed during the semester. You will be given a list of study questions in advance and the exam will based on some of those questions. (50 percent of the grade)

Required Readings

Maxine Baca Zinn, "Chicano Men and Masculinity," pp. 25-34 in


Sandra Lee Bartky, "Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of

Patriarchal Power," pp. 25-45 in WOMEN'S BODIES.

Harry Brod, "Of Mice and Supermen: Images of Jewish Masculinity,"

pp. 45-54 in MEN'S LIVES.

Myra Dinnerstein and Rose Weitz, "Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush, and

     Other Aging Bodies: Femininity and the Limits of Resistance,"
     pp. 189-204 in WOMEN'S BODIES.

Allan G. Johnson, THE GENDER KNOT. Unraveling Our Patriarchal

Legacy. Temple University Press, 1997.

Michael Kaufman, "The Construction of Masculinity and the Triad of

Men's Violence," pp. 4-17 in MEN'S LIVES.

Michael S. Kimmel and Michael A. Messner, eds., MEN'S LIVES. Allyn

and Bacon, 1998 (4th edition), selected chapters.*

Yen Le Espiritu, "All Men are not Created Equal: Asian Men in U.S.

History," pp. 35-44 in MEN'S LIVES.

Martin P. Levine, "The Life and Death of Gay Clones," pp. 55-67 in


Judith Lorber, GENDER INEQUALITY. Feminist Theories and Politics.

Roxbury Publishing Co., 1998.

Judith Lorber, "Believing in Seeing: Biology as Ideology," pp. 12-


Manning Marable, "The Black Male: Searching Beyond Stereotypes,"

pp. 18-24, in MEN'S LIVES.

Katha Pollitt, "'Fetal Rights': A New Assault on Feminism," pp.

278-287, in WOMEN'S BODIES.

Dorothy E. Roberts, "The Future of Reproductive Choice for Poor

Women and Women of Color," pp. 270-277 in WOMEN'S BODIES.

Edward H. Thompson, Jr., "Older Men as Invisible in Contemporary

Society," pp. 68-80. in MEN'S LIVES.

Mary Roth Walsh, ed., WOMEN, MEN, AND GENDER. Ongoing Debates.

Yale University Press, 1997.

Rose Weitz, ed., THE POLITICS OF WOMEN'S BODIES. Sexuality,

     Appearance, and Behavior. Oxford University Press, 1998, 
     selected chapters.*

Margo Wilson and Martin Daly, "Till Death Us Do Part," pp. 207-220


*On reserve at Norlin Library

Recommended Readings

Michael Kimmel and Michael Messner, eds., MEN'S LIVES. Allyn and Bacon (all editions).

Rose Weitz, THE POLITICS OF WOMEN'S BODIES. Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Scheduled Readings

Aug. 25-27     Lorber, Liberal Feminism
               Johnson, Where are We?
               Walsh, Question 1:  Should we Continue to Study
                    Gender Differences?
Sept. 1-10     Johnson, Feminists and Feminisms.
               Lorber, Marxist and Socialist Feminism
                       Development Feminism
               Johnson, Why Patriarchy?
                       Ideology, Myth, Magic and "Gender Roles"

Sept. 15-29 Walsh, Question 2: Are Gender Differences Wired into

                      Our Biology?
               Johnson, Patriarchy, the System.  
               Lorber, Men's Feminism
               Kaufman, The Construction of Masculinity...*
               Marable, The Black Male...*
               Baca Zinn, Chicano Men...*
               Le Espiritu, All men Are Not...*
               Brod, "Of Mice and Supermen...*

Oct. 1-8       Walsh, Question 3: Are Race, Class, and Gender of
                    Comparable Importance in Producing Inequality?
               Lorber, Multiracial Feminism
Oct.13-20      Walsh, Question 4: Do Women and Men Speak Different
               Walsh, Question 8: Sexual Orientation: Is it
                    Determined by Biology?
               Levine, The Life and Death of Gay Clones*
               Lorber, Lesbian Feminism

Oct. 22-29     Lorber, Postmodern Feminism and Queer Theory
               Walsh, Question 9: Domestic Violence...
               Johnson,Thinking About Patriarchy...
               Wilson and Daly, Till Death Us Do Part*

Nov. 3-12      Walsh, Question 10: Rape: Are Statistics
               Lorber, Radical Feminism
               Johnson, What Patriarchy?
               Johnson, It Must Be Women

Nov. 17-24     Walsh, Question 11: Do Women and Men Have Different
                    Ways of Knowing?
               Walsh, Question 16: Relational Therapy...
               Walsh, Question 14: is Sex Stereotyping the Cause of
                    Workplace Discrimination?

Nov.30/Dec. 8 Dinnerstein and Weitz, Jane Fonda, Barbara Bush...*

               Thompson, "Older men as Invisible...*             
               Lorber, Feminism's Future Work....
               Johnson, Unraveling the Patriarchal Legacy