Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Mission Statement

By using an interdisciplinary approach, we aim to break new ground in the field of Gender and Sexuality Studies by questioning the existing gender/sexuality perspective on "knowledge". We as humans cannot live without being linked to ideas of sexuality and gender. We are born with either the physical attributes of a "male" or "female", and through the various processes of life, we develop "gender" identities. As we encounter gender-oriented messages in our daily lives, our behavior becomes aligned will societal norms. Considering that modern society has been constructed on the basis of man-woman dualism and heterosexuality, there is no doubt that we need to develop a clear view of gender/sexuality in order to understand people and society, and their ways of thinking. Initially, the concept of "gender", used to describe sex differences defined by society and culture, was differentiated from the term "sex", which described biological differences. Such issues are subjects taken up in investigation in recent years to accompany the development of Sexuality Studies. This area of study is still new and it is predicted that there will be dynamic new developments over the coming years, however, issues of gender and sexuality are also being considered within research concerns of other disciplines. Therefore, we would like for students majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies to comprehend the basic concepts of sex, gender, and sexuality, and to understand the processes of constructing/reconstructing a gender order in the educational, occupational and domestic settings. Also, we would hope that students gain the skills to identify gender messages that occur through everyday events in various media, from a gender/sexuality perspective. Moreover, we aim for students to gain positive attitudes to address and work with ethical problems of a large scale, such as inequality, class, power, and the conflict between "nature" and "culture."

Learning Goals

Learning goals for students majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies are as follows.

  1. Students should acquire a perspective on gender/sexuality. They should take as many specialized and core courses as possible in order to understand different gender divides in the world today.
  2. Students should become aware of other forms of inequality besides gender/sexuality, such as social class, ethnicity, race, nationality, education and disabilities. We hope students will learn and cultivate skills to understand how differentiations can lead to discrimination, how discrimination can become structuralized, and how this can lead to invisibility within society.
  3. Students will learn to make use of their Liberal Arts education and an interdisciplinary approach. We hope that students will cultivate the skills to challenge diverse and complex social phenomena by developing techniques that are based on a multifaceted approach and clear analytical methods.

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