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The Psychology of Gender

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

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Course Description

What is the latest science about how gender identity develops? Are fathers essential for a child’s well-being? Is fetal sex selection harmful for society? What are the consequences of advertisements that suggest that an individual’s status depends on so-called sex appeal? This course will address these questions, and provide a broad survey of the field of the psychology of gender, focusing on current and historically controversial issues in men and women’s lives.

In the “Psychology of Gender,” we will aim to unearth what “we know” about gender and question the science and significance of this knowledge. Towards the goal of challenging the systems of language, knowledge, and power within psychological studies, students will take a critical eye towards the scientific study of gender. Specific topics of inquiry will include the nature and development of gender roles, men and women’s sexuality, romantic relationships, roles within family and work, and social issues such as fetal sex selection and the prevention of violence against women.

“The Psychology of Gender” will provide students with an introduction to gender studies and a broad survey of women’s movements, men’s movements, and the psychology of gender. Students will be challenged to critically evaluate research examining sex differences and ways in which gender is constructed within society. As such, this multidisciplinary course, which addresses gender studies, psychology, and culture, fits well into Brown University’s liberal arts framework and promotes the school’s goal to encourage students to examine issues “broadly and deeply.” This course is also aligned with Brown University’s goal to promote critical thinking and to encourage self-reflection among students.

Organized as an interactive seminar, this course will acknowledge the multiplicity of personal experience and scientific phenomenon within the psychology of gender, and students will be encouraged to engage in self-reflection and dialogue. This course will be taught by Dr. Lindsay Orchowski, a clinical psychologist with expertise in gender studies and the prevention of violence against women.

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