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Gender, Sexuality, and the Law (340-0-1)


Abigail Rose Barefoot

Meeting Info

Kresge Centennial Hall 2-435: Mon, Wed 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

This course offers an introduction to the relationship between gender, sexuality, and law in the United States, both historically and currently. We'll look at legal categories of gender and sexuality that have governed (and, often, continue to govern) the household (including sex, marriage, divorce, reproductive rights, and custody), the economy (including employment, property, and credit), and the political sphere (including voting, jury service, and citizenship). We will also explore how feminist and queer activists have resisted legally produced inequalities and whether (or how) their efforts have created enduring social change. (Also taught as GNDR ST 340)

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to engage in critical reading, thinking, and writing; read and understand state and federal cases and statutes; explain how legal doctrines have changed over time; analyze the assumptions of courts and policy makers; understand and describe how legal categories affect (and are affected by) social constructions of gender; and explain how law operates in a social context.

Teaching Method

Lecture and discussion

Evaluation Method

Grades will be based on in-class participation, weekly short answer questions, and three papers.

Class Materials (Required)

All course materials will be provided electronically via Canvas at no cost.

Class Attributes

Historical Studies Distro Area
Interdisciplinary Distro-rules apply
Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area