Gender and Sexuality Studies

The gender and sexuality studies (GSS) minor allows students to explore how issues of gender and sexuality impact economics, politics, education, sports, media, healthcare and more. The minor also helps students explore how individuals understand themselves and each other in a world that is formed by gender expectations.


  • Take an interdisciplinary approach to studies of gender and sexuality through the lens of sociology, public health, psychology, history, biology, anthropology and literature
  • Participate in advocacy and civic engagement through the Center for Civic Engagement and Center for Gender Equity
  • Participate in a biannual national conference bringing students and scholars to Pacific University for a weekend of activities highlighting current issues of gender and sexuality
  • Represent the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor at national and international conferences
  • Study abroad in a service-learning course in India


Students can explore civic engagement and advocacy opportunities through the Center for Civic Engagement and the Center for Gender Equity, and they benefit from a national conference held on campus every other year with students and scholars from around the country. Study abroad opportunities also are available. The minor in gender and sexuality studies is the academic arm of the Center for Gender Equity at Pacific University. The center is a vibrant force at Pacific, offering programming such as speakers, plays and workshops, advocacy activities supporting marriage equality, HIV/AIDS prevention and research, and an end to sexual assault and domestic violence, and service, including camps and workshops for youth, minorities and women in the community.


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.


The gender and sexuality studies program cultivates critical thinking skills and tools for creative expression. Civic engagement, research and travel opportunities prepare students for life-long engagement with a global community. The interdisciplinary approach of our program offers students unique perspectives that expand their abilities to problem solve and serve diverse populations. Our graduates work in government research, education, and healthcare, including fertility services and research.