Sociology | Gender Roles
S338 | 4735 | Bolzendahl

Gender is everywhere we look, from the women who want a
fairytale “Joe Millionaire” to men trying to find a “Bachelorette”,
to people obtaining sex change operations, to laws on abortion,
birth control, and Viagra, and on and on.  How do we learn
what “feminine” and “masculine” means?  Are differences biology or
society?  A sociological examination of gender roles lets us examine
the status and roles of women and men in society, including the
experiences of marriage and partnership, sexuality, parenthood,
political participation, employment and educational attainment,
socialization into sex roles and cultural reinforcement of these.
We will look at both individual experiences and the ways that social
institutions such as religion, the media, politics and the law help
shape gender roles.  At the end of this course you should be able to
understand the main theoretical treatments of gender and some of the
ways in which it operates in our society at a personal and
institutional level.