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SOCY 1016 Sex, Gender, and Society 1


Zach Owens



This course is an introduction to the sociological analysis of sex, gender, and sexuality in society. Our primary focus will be the social construction of gender in American society, though throughout the semester we will also discuss how gender is constructed in some non‐Western societies. This course is designed to encourage you to critically examine the social world around you, and to understand how the individual is very much connected to the social structures we have created. We have many common sense ideas about sex, gender, and sexuality in contemporary society. It’s not uncommon for you to hear that women are just that way, or that boys will be boys, implying an implicit naturalness to gendered differences that exist in so many aspects of our lives. This course will challenge many of these “common sense” ideas. Throughout the course, you will use your “sociological imagination” to see gender as a major organizing principle of social life, and also to better understand the social forces which shape our lives and pattern the way in which we interact with other members of society.


  1. Recognize that we live in a “gendered society,” in that we organize our lives around gender.
  2. Explain the difference between sex and gender, and discuss the importance of this 
  3. Demonstrate your understanding of the social construction of gender.
  4. Identify and analyze documented examples of gender inequality in American society.
  5. Explain the origins and persistence of gender inequality in both historical and contemporary 
times from a constructionist perspective.
  6. Evaluate and critically examine your own participation in a gendered society, with a particular 
focus on how you “do” gender.


  • Kimmel, Michael. 2013. The Gendered Society, 5th edition. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978‐0‐19‐992746‐3
  • Kimmel, Michael and Aronson, Amy. 2013. The Gendered Society Reader, 5th edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 978‐0‐19‐992749‐4


3 Exams: 375 points (125 points per exam); ~56%

6 Discussions: 300 points (50 points per discussion) ~44%

Total: 675 points

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Monday – Friday
7:30am to 4:30pm


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1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado