A minor in gender studies encourages students to ask critical questions about gender and sexuality: What is “masculine” and what is “feminine”? Why are so many uncomfortable talking about sexuality or anxious about gay or trans people? We study gender and sexuality across a range of disciplines, to examine how cultures encourage particular definitions of gender and sexuality, and how those notions influence identity, expectations, and behavior.
Students in gender studies see past superficial representations to discover how our understanding of the world is grounded in assumptions about gender and sexuality. These critical skills allow students to challenge and change those assumptions, to make the world safer, fairer, and freer for all.
Gender studies students use their knowledge in a variety of professions. Some create magazines, blogs, and other media to cover important issues and changes opinions, like Andi Zeisler, the founder of Bitch magazine; some focus on gender and sexuality in legal careers, like Roberta Kaplan, whose case for Edie Windsor vs. overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. That interest enhances virtually any field one wants to explore: business, law, medicine, public administration, social work, teaching, counseling, and government service.