Gender and Sexualities

The final product for this course will be a final paper completed individually for 30 points total towards your final grade. Students will choose one of two final paper options.

Option 1: Gender analysis of media content

You will write a 5-7 page paper analyzing a piece of media of your choice. This can include a TV show, book series, podcast, video game, movie, comic book, or anything you can identify as media content. Thoroughly describe relevant components of the media piece before/as you analyze (you do not have to describe in detail the entire thing, only what is relevant to your paper/the course concepts).

Questions to consider:

What are the gendered characteristics/traits/behaviors of the characters?

What is the content broadly saying about gender, power, and hierarchical arrangements?

How are sexualities presented in the media piece? Does the media piece assume heteronormativity? Explain.

Does the content exemplify identities/behaviors/characteristics that operate outside of the gender binary? If so, are there any notable reactions?

Does this content succeed/fail to represent an intersectional understanding of identity? Why or why not?

Are there any examples of gendered institutions within the media piece? If so, describe and explain the institution and how it is gendered.

Paper requirements: 5 key concepts from the course must be used throughout your paper with citations. You should use 12-point size normal font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc.), double spacing, and APA formatting including references.



Option 2: Prompt response

You will write a 5-7 page paper responding to 3 prompts of your choice. Answer all of the questions in the prompt for full credit.


Prompt 1: How does our understanding of sexualities connect to the way that we “do” gender (in other words, how are gender and sexualities connected)? Explain heteronormativity. How does heteronormativity drive dominant U.S. culture? What are the impacts of this? How have groups resisted discrimination based on sexualities?

Optional (choose 2):

Prompt 2: What is your definition of gender? How does this compare to the book’s definition? How is U.S. culture gendered? How has the way that we understand gender changed throughout time? Propose an example sociological study using an intersectional understanding of gender (propose a theoretical background, general methods that might be appropriate, and research hypotheses).

Prompt 3: Reflect on your overall experience in the course. What was your perspective of sex, gender, & sexualities before taking this course? Have these perspectives changed? If so, how? How is your daily life gendered? Provide an example of an experience in your classes this semester (it does not have to be in this class) that relates to concepts from this course.

Prompt 4: Do you think it is possible to take gender out of the way that we organize society? Imagine a world that does not organize around gender. What would this world look like? What might be some prominent features of today’s society that would change? Would the gender binary still exist? What would be the effects of this new social organization?

Prompt 5: Choose one of the weeks 11/12/13 topics (work, family, or politics). Summarize how the topic can be analyzed as a social institution. Explain how the topic is gendered (you can use examples from the book, lecture, or outside sources). Then, provide a suggestion for social change within the institution (what steps need to be taken to create more gender equity within work/family/politics?).

Paper requirements: 5 key concepts from the course must be used throughout your paper with citations. Identify which prompt you are responding to at the beginning of each response (example: Prompt 2). You should use 12-point size normal font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc.), double spacing, and APA formatting including references.

Requirements: 5-7 pages


I have to present this paper too I feel like the topic i would like to present is about something relate to sports

Answer preview

The terminology heteronormativity was created by social theorist and queer literacy critic Michael Warner in 1991. Warner drew inspiration from an essay authored by Adrienne Rich titled “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (Brook, 2018). In the essay, Rich theorized that heterosexuality is not every person’s instinct but a cultural institution that seeks to make women inferior to their male counterparts (Brook, 2018). Heteronormativity is a concept that assumes that every person is heterosexual or straight. As such, an ideal sexual relationship should be between one woman and one man. Essentially, heteronormativity assumes that people’s default sexual orientation is heterosexuality and, thus, it is the only natural way for people to express their sexuality (Brook, 2018).

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Gender and Sexualities