Gender and Sexuality Studies

The minor in gender and sexuality studies (GSS) explores how issues of gender and sexuality affect almost every aspect of our lives, not only on a personal level but also in economics, politics, education, sports, media, health policy and in global and transnational contexts. The minor provides students with a crucial analytical lens relevant to many disciplines in arts and sciences such as sociology, geography, psychology, history, biology, anthropology and literature.

Program Highlights

  • Civic engagement—The University has a requirement that all students participate in a civic engagement project. The activities undertaken in GSS classes in many cases satisfy that requirement. 

  • Center For Gender Equity—Pacific also has an action-based Center for Gender Equity (CGE) that provides the opportunity for students to explore issues of gender and sexuality through advocacy, research, programming and service. In addition to giving students the chance to design and carry out hands-on projects, CGE provides scholarships for students to study gender in India and attend national and international conferences on topics of gender and sexuality. 

  • Conference—In collaboration with CGE, GSS sponsors a national conference every other year in which students are active both as organizers and presenters. The conference brings students and scholars from around the country to Pacific for a weekend of activities that highlight current issues of gender and sexuality in a series of events and activities that include a notable keynote speaker, panels, discussions, theater presentations or other exciting venues.

  • Travel—Students may elect to travel to India to engage in service-learning, discussion with local service agencies andfield work on a topic of the student's choice.

Students Alexa Clifford and Samantha Stych created the movie "Telephone" for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Queer Studies class in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Students enrolled in gender and sexuality studies courses gain insight into questions such as:
  • How do gender and sexuality intersect with other forms of social power (such as race, class and age)?
  • How do gender and sexuality affect the process of socialization?
  • How can we combat heteronormativity and sex-essentialism?

Classes in GSS draw from a variety of department including sociology, history, English, art history, theatre and French. Many of these classes have a civic engagement or project component. Students may elect to travel to India to engage in service learning, or engage in discussion with local service agencies, or conduct field work on a topic of the student's choice.

Student Experiences

"I've continued to learn in both sociology and anthropology that there is so much more beneath the surface of this world and society with a plethora of lenses through which to view them. I believe the GSS minor provides one of the important, fascinating and even necessary of these lenses." Jesse Campton

"I chose GSS because I find the topic of gender and sexuality exciting and applicable in almost every situation." Kelly Stevens

More Information

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