Understanding Sex and Gender

For many individuals, gender and sex mean the same thing.  If you are born with male reproductive organs, you are a male and vice versa for females.  For others, sex assignment and gender have a complex relationship.  Students will be introduced to the biological basis of sex and explore what it means to be male and female.  In this class, we will discuss many of the big questions in gender research and policy.  How do different societies view sex and gender?  Are there historical accounts we can draw from?  How are these views changing?  What about other species in the animal kingdom?  What can they tell us about gender and sex?  This course offers students the opportunity to explore this topic from the cellular aspect to the neurological aspect as well as in the context of evolution.  We will not only look at the science behind sex and gender, but also consider the societal implications and how this has shaped politics and policy in the modern era.