9.75J Psychology of Gender

Spring 2003

Image depicting gender ambiguity.
An exploration of gender: what makes a man or a woman? Is it biology, is it society, or interactions among many types of influences? (Image courtesy of Dr. Rutledge Ellis-Behnke.)

Course Highlights

This course explores the biological and social influences that contribute to our current understanding of gender differences. The extensive reading list covers the major theories, methods, and debates in the field of gender studies. In particular, we will focus on:
  1. Conceptualizing the impact of biology
  2. Understanding the contexts which contribute to intra-gender variation and inter-gender similarities
  3. Clarifying the influence of social, political and economic forces on gender discourse and practice

Course Description

We will examine current research and theory regarding the validity and utility of commonly accepted gender differences in many realms. Topics include: gender differences in cognitive abilities; the social construction of gender; developmental, family, educational and medical influences; and political and economic forces.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Phoebe Kazdin Schnitzer

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
3 hours / session