University of Colorado at Boulder
Sex, Gender, & Society
Farrand seminar: WMST 1016-860: TR 11-12:15; Fall, 1994
Instructor: Dr. Wendy E. Davis
Office: Farrand 175: 492-3558; 440-6262 Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:15-1:00 or by appointment
This course is designed to:
1) help you observe the subtle and not-so-subtle influences of
gender on thought, behavior and social structure; 2) help you to understand how sex roles and relationships have
changed and are changing within many cultures, including our
3) introduce you to the interplay of conscious and not-so-conscious
social norms and biases surrounding gender, gender orientation
4) assist in understanding what factors influence the development
of intimate relationships.
In order to distinguish between the facts and what is merely convention about men and women, we need to step outside of ourselves and our biases. Class attendance and participation in research groups outside of class is expected, as well as keeping up to date with current gender issues from newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Because many of the topics in this course (e.g., hetero- and homosexuality, rape, incest, etc.) can be emotionally loaded it is of utmost importance to give all speakers, including classmates, the respect for their beliefs, feelings and opinions. Thus, "PROCESS" norms will be maintained throughout the course. As an acronym, PROCESS stands for Participation, Responsibility, Openness, Commitment, Experimentation, Sensitivity & Sense of Humor. These norms, if established and maintained, create a climate that supports active learning and valuing each individual and can lead to each person's success in class. If you feel you are unable to meet these requirements, you may want to reconsider taking this course.
--Doyle, J & Paludi, M. (1985) Sex and Gender. Brown, 2nd Ed. --Covington, S. & L. Beckett. Leaving the Enchanted Forest, San Francisco: Harper & Rowe, 1988.
--Selected Readings from: (R)
Rubin, L. Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together. New York:
Harper & Row, 1983
Hooks, Bell. Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics.
Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990 Farrell, W. Why Men Are The Way They Are, New York: McGraw Hill,
MacGuire, P. Doing Participatatory Research: A Feminist
Approach. Amherst, MA: The Center for International Education: 1987
Most of the class is discussion oriented, with some exercises in both small groups and in the larger class group. There will be guest speakers and each student will co-facilitate a class discussion. There may also be a field trip which may include watching a couple of feature films outside of class as well. The class is not a simple repetition of the readings but rather critical discussion. Read the material vigorously and if you are unclear, always ask questions.
Course Requirements and Evaluation. Your final grade will be based on the following:
35pts. Midterm (20 pts) & Final (15 pts.). There will be two take home exams: one midterm plus a cumulative final. The midterm will be primarily true/false with explanation and short essay, based on readings and class discussion. The final is half cumulative take home and half in class creative presentation. Make-up exams will be all essay and given only in the case of major illness or family emergency (both documented).
25pts. Gender Log Book. You are required to keep an observational log of gender roles in action based on the feminist or value-laden approach to research for 10 weeks. Each week you will write approximately 5 pages: 3 pages will be observations and answers to questions from the journal assignment sheet and 2 pages of your current events and personal observations and thoughts, including relevant articles from newspapers and magazines. Assignments will be discussed in small groups and collected in class (see course outline.)
25 pts. Group Research and Educational Forum. Groups of 3-4 students will explore an issue on the impact of gender and work with a non-profit agency or group that is addressing the issues, such as Boulder County Safehouse, the Boulder County AIDS Project. Groups will be given a checklist of project requirements, and will meet weekly outside of class. The group will present its project results in an entertaining yet educational forum in the Planetarium, which is open to all friends and fellow students in Farrand. This may include bringing a guest speaker or a panel of speakers who can address your chosen topic. Each group member will submit a 7-10 page research paper, a bibliography and an evaluation of the group's process of research and working together.
15 pts. Participation and Facilitation: Experimental Summary Performances (E.S.P.) Active involvement in learning and reflecting on what was learned is both important and fun when studying gender. There are two in class E.S.P.s (worth 5 pts. each). Everyone in the class will have 5 minutes to present on the E.S.P. day. A two page process observation paper about E.S.P. is due in your gender log following the E.S.P. Class participation includes attendance and selecting a class topic to co-facilitate a short discussion with one other student. (5 pts)
10 pts. Extra Credit. You may receive up to 10 pts. extra credit for doing one or more of the following; an extra service learning or volunteer project that deals with gender issues, attending relevant lectures and workshops on campus, writing a letter to the editor or to a company or congress person about a gender issue, and typing a 2 page reflection paper on the project, (approximately, 1 pt. per hour of project)
110=Total possible points
91 points and up=A; 81 and up=B, etc. Plusses and minuses will be used.
Brief Course Outline
Readings are to be completed before class. Chapters are from Sex and Gender text unless otherwise specified by "For"=Leaving the Enchanted Forest or "R"=Readings given in class.
Week # Date Reading Assignment & Topic Log Assignment 1 Aug. 26 Introduction: Why study sex & gender? 1 2 Aug. 31 Ch.1;R1:How is gender researched? Sept. 2* Ch.2;Gender Movement History; gender roles & relationships of the future 2 *Service learning Project: The New Renaissance Festival, September 2-6 in Central Park; Canyon & Broadway 3 Sept. 7 R2:Wise women of the Past: The Burning Times Sept. 9** Ch.3:R3:Birth, midwifery & biology 3 **Hand in gender logs 1-3
Note: Watch 1 hour of Saturday morning TV, commercials & all, before next class
4 Sept. 14: Still Killing Us Softly & the Media 4 Sept. 16: Ch.4:The psychology of sex differences "Stale roles & Tight Buns" 5 Sept. 21: #FOR:Ch.2 & 3: Growing up gendered: influences of TV, stories, parents, etc 5 Sept. 23 E.S.P. #1 What are you aware of now? Sharing summary thoughts, questions & observations from logs 1-5 6 Sept. 28 Ch. 6:The Anthropological Perspective 6 Sept. 30 Focus on Middle Eastern Culture: A Veiled Revolution 7 Oct. 7** #For:4:Roles from Family & cultural background Take home midterm Due: Sunday, Oct. 10,5 p.m. on Faculty office door 8 Oct.12 R5:Power revisited & Research begins 8 Oct.14 #Ch.8;R6:Clothing & Nonverbal Communication: Prep for Gender Role reversal day 9 Oct.19 #Ch.8'R7:Verbal Communication of Men & Women: Are "Men from Mars & Women from Venus?" Oct.21 E.S.P. #2 Gender Role Reversal Day 9
***Oct. 25-30 The annual Rocky Mountain Men's Conference at the UMC. Attend at least one event for the last log
10 Oct.26 #Ch.9 Work,education, & Division of labor 10 Oct. 28****R8:bell hooks on Gender, race & social class ****Hand in gender logs No more logs:research paper writing begins 11 Nov.2 #For:Ch5 Conflict & boundaries in intimacy Nov.4 #For:Ch.6&7;R9:Friendship, Love &Healthy Sexuality 12 Nov.9 #Ch.10(1st half)Religion & Beliefs about sexuality Nov.11 #Ch.10 Religion, Politics, and Amendment 2 13 Nov.16 Ch.11 Mental Health & Gender, research presentations Nov.18 Research presentations 14 Nov.23 Research presentations Research paper due Nov.25 Thanksgiving!! (Thankgoodness!) 15 Nov.30 Ch.12:The Meaning and future of Gender Dec.2 For:Ch.8Creating a positive future for loving relationships: The journey to equality and freedom 16 Dec.7 Summary of sex and gender
Final exam: Saturday, December 11 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.*
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:36:48 -0600 (MDT)