UNIT: Theoretical and Research Perspectives
The Social Construction of Gender, Margaret L. Andersen and Dana Hysock, Thinking about Women, 2009
Socialization by parents, teachers, peers, public figures, and many others contribute greatly to what we are. The authors focus on the role of socialization in the formation of gender identity.
Framed before We Know It: How Gender Shapes Social Relations, Cecilia L. Ridgeway, Gender & Society, 2009
This article highlights social and structural elements of gendered behaviors and social relations in various contexts. Gendered identities form an important “backdrop” that influences social relations.
Gender Is Powerful: The Long Reach of Feminism, Nancy MacLean, OAH Magazine of History, 2006
Readers of this article will gain a greater appreciation of the significance of the women's movement. By studying the women's movement, we are in a better position to more fully understand civil rights and numerous other social and political movements in the United State.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil, Robert W. Thurston, History Today, 2006
The image of women as witches was a staple of European life for centuries. It took modern rationalism to finally put witch hunts to an end, but this did not occur before many had suffered at the hands of religious and political leaders.
A Case for Angry Men and Happy Women, Beth Azar, Monitor on Psychology, 2007
People are faster at identifying anger on men's faces as well as seeing happiness on women's faces. This process has been linked to the evolutionary advantage of being able to spot and avoid an angry and potentially dangerous male. This article explores the connections between gender, emotions, and evolution.
Beauty, Gender and Stereotypes: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments, James Andreoni and Ragan Petrie, Journal of Economic Psychology, 2008
The authors uncover, through an extremely interesting experiment, what they call a beauty premium as well as a beauty penalty in stereotyping behaviors of research participants.
I'm Not a Very Manly Man: Qualitative Insights into Young Men's Masculine Subjectivity, Richard O. de Visser, Men and Masculinities, 2009
In-depth qualitative interviews uncover some interesting links between the “discourses of masculinity” and perceptions, lived experiences, and identities.
UNIT: Gender and Development
Gender and Group Process: A Developmental Perspective, Eleanor E. Maccoby, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2002
This article describes how much of children's gender socialization occurs within same-sex social groups. Interestingly, many sex-related qualities and behaviors emerge within a group setting more than when children are alone.
Gender Bender, Sadie F. Dingfelder, APA Monitor on Psychology, 2004
The author describes recent research evidence on the role of genes and prenatal hormones in gender identity and gender-related behaviors. These findings help illuminate the interplay between nature and nurture in boys' and girls' behaviors.
The Secret Lives of Single Women, Sarah Mahoney, AARP The Magazine, 2006
There are a number of myths and stereotypes that the public holds regarding older single women. This article discusses the accuracy or inaccuracy of some of these perceptions.
Goodbye to Girlhood, Stacy Weiner, The Washington Post, 2007
This article describes the trends in how women and girls are depicted by the media. Pop culture images are targeting younger girls, potentially influencing the development of eating disorders, lower self-esteem, and depression.
Teenage Fatherhood and Involvement in Delinquent Behavior, Terence P. Thornberry, Carolyn A. Smith, and Susan Ehrhard, The Prevention Researcher, 2004
This paper investigates the relationship between teenage fatherhood and various indicators of delinquent behavior. By using a large sample of students, first interviewed in the seventh or eighth grades and again when they were 21 years old, the authors are able to explore the link between teenage fatherhood and delinquent behavior along the adolescent life course.
How Many Fathers Are Best for a Child? Meredith F. Small, Discover, 2003
Through an anthropological study of the Barí tribe of Venezuela, the American concept of a normal family unit is challenged. Questions of culture and evolution are raised and lead to an intriguing question: Is one father enough?
What Autistic Girls Are Made of, Emily Bazelon, The New York Times Magazine, 2007
Autism is thought to afflict boys three or four times more often than girls, and with Asperger's syndrome, nearly ten times as often. This article examines how autism varies by gender, presenting both experimental and anecdotal evidence.
UNIT: Gender and Education
Learning and Gender, Michael Gurian, American School Board Journal, 2006
Michael Gurian examines gender differences as they impact the educational experiences and potential of boys and girls. Achievement gaps in math, science, and literacy need no longer exist.
Educating Girls, Unlocking Development, Ruth Levine, Current History, 2006
The education of girls has the potential to improve not only their lives, but also those of their family and the broader society. Educating girls has been shown to contribute to growth of household and national income, improved health for women and children, and lower fertility rates. These contributions to development make it even more important to focus on girls' school enrollments and completion, especially for those belonging to ethnic and linguistic minorities.
Boys and Girls Together: A Case for Creating Gender-Friendly Middle School Classrooms, David Kommer, The Clearing House, 2006
Kommer examines gender differences in classroom performance, brain functioning, and social development. He proposes using multiple instructional strategies that meet the needs of both boys and girls.
Female Faculty in Male-Dominated Fields: Law, Medicine, and Engineering, LaWanda Ward, New Directions for Higher Education, 2008
LaWanda Ward looks at the challenges that female faculty members face in the fields of law, medicine, and engineering. Despite advances, opportunities for men and women in these fields are far from equal.
Scaling the Ivory Towers, Caryn McTighe Musil, Ms Magazine, 2007
How effective are legislative attempts at banning discriminatory practices? This interesting article examines the impact of legislation on the status of women and opportunities for women in U.S. higher education.
UNIT: Gender, Work, and Health
Part A. Gender and Work
The Emperor's New Woes, Sean Elder, Psychology Today, 2005
Women's and men's roles have changed so much that men today are less sure what women want than they were in the past. The male career track that promotes married men into leadership or executive roles often leaves their wives wondering where intimacy has gone. The same traits that make a married man successful at work may countermand his success in his marriage. Sean Elder takes a long look at this conundrum.
The Media Depiction of Women Who Opt Out, Arielle Kuperberg and Pamela Stone, Gender and Society, 2008
The experiences of women who opt out of full-time employment for full-time motherhood are much more complex than many may realize. Media depictions are inconsistent. Compared to some women's experiences in the past, today, women who opt out today have generally already held full-time employment. This interesting article will help the reader to understand some of the complexities of these issues.
Great Expectations, Judith M. Havemann, The Wilson Quarterly, 2007
Women have taken tremendous strides toward equality in the corporate world. They now hold half of all managerial and professional jobs. Women rarely, however, hold top management positions. Several explanations for this are discussed.
Labor Markets, Breadwinning, and Beliefs: How Economic Context Shapes Men's Gender Ideology, Youngjoo Cha and Sarah Thébaud, Gender & Society, 2009
Earning status, the labor market, and economic contexts influence men's egalitarian gender ideologies according to this interesting study.
Part B. Gender and Health
A Woman's Curse? Meredith F. Small, The Sciences, 1999
An anthropologist's study of the ritual of seclusion surrounding women's menstrual cycle has some rather profound implications regarding human evolution, certain cultural practices, and women's health.
Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescent Females and Males: Risk and Resilience, Katherine Presnell, Sarah Kate Bearman, and Mary Clare Madeley, The Prevention Researcher, 2007
The study of gender and health is especially important and interesting in the area of body image. This important selection looks at body dissatisfaction in boys and girls, including some consequences that everyone should know.
When Sex Hurts, Lisa Collier Cool, Good Housekeeping, 2003
This fact-filled article addresses a rarely talked about, but often devastating problem for women and couples: painful intercourse. Citing medical research and experts, the seven most likely conditions associated with painful sex are explained, along with how and where to get help and effective treatments.
Health Behaviors, Prostate Cancer, and Masculinities: A Life Course Perspective, John Oliffe, Men and Masculinities, 2009
This article examines the intersections of gender, health, and illness using a retrospective life course method. This study goes beyond behaviors and health consequences, to look at the impact of the social construction of masculinity on health.
UNIT: Genders and Sexualities
(Rethinking) Gender, Debra Rosenberg, Newsweek, 2007
Debra Rosenberg writes about transgendered men and women. Some transgendered men and women use surgery and/or hormones to bring their bodies into compliance with their identities. Their stories are riveting and their lived experiences raise many questions about gender.
Progress and Politics in the Intersex Rights Movement: Feminist Theory in Action, Alice D. Dreger and April M. Herndon, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 2009
The history of the intersex rights movement has been successful in many important ways. This article explores the politics of intersex rights and feminism.
What Do Women Want? Daniel Bergner, The New York Times Magazine, 2009
Daniel Bergner reports on research findings from research on female sexual arousal and female sexualities. What does research tell us about genital arousal in women? This article explores an understudied area.
Women's Sexuality as They Age: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same, Patricia Barthalow Koch and Phyllis Kernoff Mansfield, SIECUS Report, 2002
The authors examine women's sexuality over the life cycle in an attempt to determine whether there are any changes in female sexuality as a result of aging or menstrual status.
Peer Marriage, Pepper Schwartz, The Communitarian Reader: Beyond the Essentials, Amitai Etzioni, Andrew Volmert, and Elanit Rothschild, Rowan & Littlefield, 2004
Pepper Schwartz celebrates the concept of peer marriages in which spouses regard each other as full social equals. Both have careers, and share family decision-making and child-rearing responsibilities. She argues that peer marriages generally result in stronger families and greater satisfaction.
State of Our Unions: Marriage Promotion and the Contested Power of Heterosexuality, Melanie Heath, Gender & Society, 2009
State-sponsored marriage promotion efforts reinforce gender hierarchies and are based, in part, on an “ideology of marital heterosexuality.” Melanie Heath examines a fascinating topic that is located at the intersections of politics, race, class, and structural inequalities.
Five Years on, Gay Marriage Debate Fades in Massachusetts, David Crary, Associated Press, 2009
Gay marriage has been a hot button issue in the United States over the past several years. Crary examines the case of Massachusetts where gay marriage has been a legal option for lesbian and gay couples since 2004.
Everyone's Queer, Leila J. Rupp, OAH Magazine of History, 2006
The title of this history of nonnormative sex may have caught your eye, but reading it is likely to maintain your interest, as well as increase your understanding of the evolution of what is considered normal over the last 60 years.
The Berdache Tradition, Walter L. Williams, The Meaning of Difference, Beacon Press, 2000
Not all societies agree with the Western cultural view that all humans are either women or men. In fact, many Native American cultures recognize an alternative role called the “berdache,” a morphological male who has a non-masculine character. This is just one way for a society to recognize and assimilate some atypical individuals without imposing a change on them, or stigmatizing them.
Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents, Charlotte J. Patterson, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2006
Does parental sexual orientation affect child development? After years of research, little difference has been found between children of same-sex parents and those of other sex parents. In fact, the quality of relationships in the family seems to matter more than parents' sexual orientation.
UNIT: Gender and Social Issues
Flower Grandma's Secret, Susan Wicklund, Ms. Magazine, 2007
A physician specializing in reproductive health and abortion is about to go public on national television. She now must visit her grandmother to tell her about her medical specialty. The doctor soon discovers that her Grandmother has been keeping a long-held secret of her own.
Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing about It, Heather M. Karjane, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Francis T. Cullen, National Institute of Justice Journal, 2005
Congress asked the National Institute of Justice to find out what schools are doing to prevent and respond to reports of sexual assault. The study found that in the vast majority of rapes, the victim and assailant know each other, and half of all student victims do not consider such incidents to be rapes.
Male Rape Myths: The Role of Gender, Violence, and Sexism, Kristine M. Chapleau, Debra L. Oswald, and Brenda L. Russell, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2008
Do males and females differ in their acceptance of rape myths? What factors impact the acceptance of rape myths? This article reports on research that sheds some light on these issues.
Effects of Sexual Assaults on Men: Physical, Mental, and Sexual Consequences, Richard Tewksbury, International Journal of Men's Health, 2007
This interesting article reviews the research literature on the physical, mental and sexual consequences of sexual assaults on men. This review will provide the reader with an excellent overall understanding of what we know about the effects of sexual assaults on men to-date.
Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, and Prostitution, Alice Leuchtag, The Humanist, 2003
Sex trafficking and sex slavery are the products of extreme poverty and considerable profits. The exploitation involved is horrendous. Human rights groups are trying to stop the practice. Alice Leuchtag covers many aspects of this issue.
Fall Girls, Mark Benjamin, Ms. Magazine, 2008
Mark Benjamin reports on a political scandal involving prostitution and a U.S. senator. Sex workers and clients are often treated differently by the criminal justice system. The consequences of this particular case are especially tragic.
Women, Citizens, Muslims, Amy Zalman, The Women's Review of Books, 2004
Afghan women are campaigning for equal rights in their country. They are doing so with the structure of both democracy and Muslim law—an intriguing approach.
Beyond Hillary: Strength in Numbers, Ann Friedman, The American Prospect, 2008
Ann Friedman assesses the relatively modest proportion of elected officeholders who are women. She discusses the steps needed for women as a group to achieve the critical mass in elected offices that they have so far not achieved, despite the national prominence of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.