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3 A Few Further Reflections on My Own Classroom Experience

3 A Few Further Reflections on My Own Classroom Experience

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D.B. Andersen

I notice contributions from women in the class at high levels – again, as mentioned

above, a benefit in and of itself. I have had positive contributions to class discussions from what might be considered unlikely sources: male student athletes, members of the armed services, ROTC cadets, and self-disclosed (and outspoken)

political conservatives. I have seen at least some of these students draw on the

examples central to these discussions in their coursework – examples that tend to

demonstrate they are also grasping our core course material, as well. And I have

seen them enroll in classes I teach in later terms that have an explicit race or gender

focus. I can’t know for sure exactly where their thinking started out on these issues,

nor to what degree there is lasting impact for them in our discussions or in class

lessons (outside of those students of mine that become regular office hour attendees

or take repeated courses with me). Still, my experiences lead me to think these small

moments of critical engagement are worth repeating in as many “standard” politics

courses as possible.


Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness and the politics of

empowerment. New York: Routledge.

Concepcion, D. W., & Eflin, J. T. (2009). Enabling change: Transformative and transgressive

learning in feminist ethics and epistemology. Teaching Philosophy, 32(2), 177–198.

Darder, A., Baltodano, M. P., & Torres, R. D. (Eds.). (2009). The critical pedagogy reader (2nd

ed.). New York: Routledge.

De Beauvoir, S. (2011). The second sex (C. Borde & S. M. Chevallier, Trans.). New York: Vintage


Giroux, H. (2008). Pedagogy and the politics of hope: Theory, culture and schooling: A critical

reader. Boulder: Westview Press.

Giroux, H. (2011). On critical pedagogy. New York: The Continuum International Publishing


Maher, F., & Tetreault, M. K. T. (2001). The feminist classroom: Dynamics of gender, race, and

privilege. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Mayberry, M., & Rose, E. C. (Eds.). (1999). Meeting the challenge: Innovative feminist pedagogies in action. New York: Routledge.

Millett, K. (2000). Sexual politics. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Miss Representation (film). (2011). Directed by: Jennifer Seibel Newsom and Kimberlee Acquaro.

Mundy, L. (2015). The secret history of women in the Senate. Politico. http://www.politico.com/


Accessed 12 Dec 2014.

Nelson, E. (2013). Law, policy, and reproductive autonomy. Portland: Hart Publishing.

Pateman, C. (1988). The sexual contract. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Chapter 27

Making the Invisible Visible: Shining a Light

on Gender and Sexuality in Courses Primarily

Focused on Other Topics

Kelsy Burke* and Alexa Trumpy*



Gender and sexuality are covered in wide range of sociology classes, from education courses examining differences in graduation rates for men and women to

research methods courses that use sex as an example of an independent variable

whose mutually-exclusive attributes are “male” or “female.” We identify two of the

most common challenges that arise when teaching about gender and sexuality in

courses primarily focused on other topics. One challenge involves discussing gender differences without reinforcing a gender binary. The second challenge is overcoming students’ resistance to acknowledging privilege and inequality. We then

propose two strategies for addressing these obstacles when teaching gender and

sexuality in any sociology course, regardless of primary focus. These strategies will

allow instructors to demonstrate the complex and important ways gender and sexuality impact and intersect with a wide variety of topics and help students to understand how privilege and oppression can operate simultaneously.


Binary Misconceptions and Illuminating the Exceptions

Although the social construction of gender and sexuality is taken for granted by

most sociologists, students often enter sociology courses with a naturalized understanding of gender and sexuality. Presenting gender differences without critically

interrogating the meaning of gender presupposes that gender is a fixed category,

*Author contributed equally with all other contributors.

K. Burke (*) • A. Trumpy

St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, USA

e-mail: Kelsy.Burke@SNC.edu; Alexa.Trumpy@SNC.edu

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

K. Haltinner, R. Pilgeram (eds.), Teaching Gender and Sex

in Contemporary America, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30364-2_27



K. Burke and A. Trumpy

with little room for identities that do not fit in binary categories. Many students have

never questioned their assumptions about the connections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.1 Ignoring exceptions to the dominant

sex and gender categories reinforces a gender binary, heterocentrism, and assumptions regarding the correlation between gender and sexual identities, expressions,

and attractions. When we focus on how gender correlates with inequalities between

men and women, gender non-conforming individuals (including those who identify

as transgender) are likely to be absent from most discussions.

One way to overcome these challenges is to explicitly acknowledge research

limitations by asking: how does sociology restrict the ways we understand gender

and sexuality? Instructors in all sociology courses can critically talk about gender

and sexuality by treating the discipline like other social institutions that perpetuate

domination and oppression. For example, a research methods instructor may ask

students to question the implications of treating the variable “gender” or “sex” as

dichotomous and comprised of two mutually-exclusive attributes. What would happen if researchers expanded this variable to include more than two categories?

Similarly, instructors in courses on research methods or medical sociology could

encourage students to think about different ways to operationalize sexuality. What

are the benefits and drawback of asking respondents about sexual identity versus

sexual behavior? Instructors could then bring examples from studies that question

the assumed link between sexual identity and sexual practice. For example, a study

of men living in New York City found nine percent of respondents who identified

as heterosexual reported having sex with at least one man (and no women) in the

previous 12 months (Pathela et al. 2006). The authors argue self-identification of

sexual orientation may not accurately reflect actual sexual practices. These examples position the discipline of sociology as enmeshed in the social world—and by

extension the stereotypes and assumptions about gender and sexuality that come

with it.

A closely related problem involves briefly incorporating LGBTQ people in a

tokenizing manner. This can occur when instructors wish to acknowledge how the

experiences and life chances of queer or transgender individuals may differ from

their straight and cisgender peers but have not fully considered how to address differences in a meaningful or comprehensive way. As a result, students may leave

class believing all transgender or queer individuals are similar, assuming transgender is synonymous with transsexual,2 or conflating gender and sexual identity.


Sexual orientation refers to sexual and romantic attraction. Gender identity is one’s sense of self

as a woman, man, a person with a range of masculine and feminine characteristics that may shift

over time, or someone without a specific gender identity. Gender expression refers to the masculine, feminine, in between, or other ways people dress and carry themselves (Teich 2012).


Transgender or trans* can be used to describe gender variant people who do not fall into “normative” conceptions of masculinity and femininity, including transsexuals, genderqueers, drag queens

and kings, and crossdressers. The term transsexual typically applies specifically to people who feel

conflict between their ascribed gender and gender identity. Transsexuals may have surgery and/or

take hormones as a result of this conflict (Wentling et al. 2008).


Making the Invisible Visible: Shining a Light on Gender and Sexuality…


One strategy for challenging a gender binary is to illuminate the ways in which

everyone is “exceptional.” Although sociologists often stress the importance of

probabilistic social trends rather than anecdotal evidence, we urge sociologists to

reconsider our relationship to the “exceptions” and use them in meaningful ways to

teaching about gender and sexuality. As Wade and Ferree (2014, p. 346) write, “all

differences are average differences with a great deal of overlap.” Moving beyond

“averages” helps students think about the social construction of stereotypes and

their own relationship to them. Talking about the reality of exceptions amidst the

myth of coherent and binary gender categories cements these categories as a social

construct. Asking students, “What is something you do that defies gender stereotypes?” can elicit responses from everyone. Answers we have heard in our classes

include men who like to cook and blow-dry their hair and women who can change

a tire and like action movies. This simple exercise reminds students that gender

nonconformity is inevitable for all people, not just those who identify as


Illuminating exceptions can be helpful in teaching students the difference

between stereotypes and social patterns, thus avoiding the tokenization of LGBT

experiences. In a Trans101 Ally training, activist Helen Boyd opens by posing a

question to a room of college students, “How many of you know someone who

identifies as trans*?” “That means,” Boyd says, “you know one trans* person”

(Boyd 2014). This exercise helps students to avoid generalizations when describing

the trans community—which encompasses a wide range of identities, appearances,

and preferred pronouns. We find this question helpful to accompany class lessons

that describe aggregate data about the LGBT community, such as findings about the

likelihood of trans* people experiencing physical violence (Wentling et al. 2008). It

allows for a discussion about social trends while reminding students that not all

trans*, queer, or gay people are the same. To accompany sociological data, classes

could also benefit from brief readings that could be included in any course, such as

“How to be an Ally to Transgender and Intersex People” (Beemyn n.d.).

Acknowledge exceptions can also help instructors with limited time to focus on

gender/sexuality teach about these topics in complex ways. Instructors teaching

about gender and sexuality in courses focused on other topics may be able to teach

about how their course topic (race, education, social movements) contributes to

“exceptions.” A course on race and ethnicity could address men of color who feel

they fail at hegemonic masculinity. To teach about gender and work, instructors

could address men who work in female-dominated occupations. Teaching about the

“glass escalator” effect (Williams 2013)—that men tend to be paid more for comparable work and promoted more quickly than women—offers evidence for male

privilege while acknowledging some social penalties for men who violate gender

norms. Similarly, sociology of health courses could address how the health care

industry punishes gender nonconformity. Instructors could highlight the “disparate

regulatory processes that transgender consumers of medical body modification

must endure compared to cisgender people” (Wentling et al. 2008, p. 53). As these

examples suggest, meaningfully engaging with “exceptions” to gender and sexual

norms can help students relate to course material while also challenging their

assumptions by focusing on surprising exceptions.



K. Burke and A. Trumpy

Demystifying Male Privilege and Illuminating


A complex discussion of gender disparities is challenging if students do not believe

men receive unearned opportunities. Male students, particularly those who are

white, heterosexual, and cisgender, often feel they do not participate in sexism and

have not asked for extra advantages. They may take offense to any discussion of

male privilege, assuming they are being accused of conspiring to secure benefits for

themselves at the expense of others. This means that they may react defensively to

discussions of gender privilege, relying on their individual experiences to contradict

sociological data. Or students may grudgingly acknowledge gender inequality but

attribute inequities to biological differences or write them off as “just the way things

are” (Kleinman et al. 2006, p. 127). Either way, a sociological discussion of how

gender impacts individual outcomes and group positions within stratification systems may suffer from confirmation bias if students cling to these beliefs.

We partially attribute this defensiveness about male privilege to a broader rejection of the label of feminist. While most students we teach believe in gender equality, many of our students express contradictory feelings toward feminism: they

consider feminism to be radical and marginal while taking for granted feminist

assumptions in their views about social life. Sociology courses that do not focus

exclusively on gender or sexuality may do little to correct these assumptions. A

“Feminist Approach” may be included in one chapter of a sociology textbook but

not thoroughly incorporated in the course. As a peripheral and unfamiliar perspective, many students accept the common media portrayal of feminists as shrill and

angry women who believe females are superior to males (Kleinman et al. 2006).

Others assume feminism is irrelevant. Growing up with slogans like “Girl Power,”

they feel sexism is a thing of the past (Pomerantz et al. 2013). These beliefs mask

the power imbalances maintaining gender inequality and allow students to dismiss

feminism as irrelevant, misguided, or even harmful.

How do instructors help students recognize feminism’s relevance and the reality

and nuance of gender and sexual disparities in contemporary society? Whether they

realize it or not, all students have experience with gender and sexuality interacting

with other salient aspects of their identities (West and Fenstermaker 1995). Over the

past few decades, feminist led scholarship has increasingly emphasized the interconnections between sources of stratification. Yet understanding these connections

is not always a major concern in scholarship or courses that do not explicitly examine gender issues (Choo and Ferree 2010). Segregating gender, class, race, and

sexuality gives the impression these identities operate separately from one another.

Focusing on intersecting systems, on the other hand, and insisting that our identities

are “both/and” rather than “either/or,” encourages students to understand gender

and sexual issues in complex and realistic ways. Intersectionality may help to lessen

students’ resistance to the concept of privilege by illustrating that very few people

are solely privileged or oppressed (Collins 1993; McCall 2005).


Making the Invisible Visible: Shining a Light on Gender and Sexuality…


For example, to teach about the nuance of gender bias in the workplace, Burke

uses a segment from National Public Radio that describes an interpersonal dimension of this bias while simultaneously revealing the interactional nature of privilege

and oppression (see Appendix for full description of the activity). After describing

research on Americans’ implicit bias that associates having a feminine voice with

insecurity and incompetence, her class listens to the radio story that introduces

Hannah, a high-pitched cisgender attorney who wants to gain more respect at work.

Hannah employs a voice coach to help make her voice sound more like her male

colleagues, who automatically have respect and authority in their professions. We

also learn how this voice coach works with Tina, a transgender woman, to teach her

some of the tonal patterns that Hannah wanted to avoid. This story illuminates the

promises and complexities of intersectionality by demonstrating how cisgender and

male privilege frame the pursuits of Hannah and Tina.

We also recommend also incorporating intersectionality into the overall structure of the course. To better do this, instructors should ask questions about the

assigned readings. First, do readings address different dimensions of stratification?

A sociology of families instructor, for example, could acknowledge that the majority of sociological research on marriage and families predominantly describes heterosexual marriages and families. Research that does address same-sex couples also

tends to focus on those that are white and middle class (Moore and StambolisRuhstorfer 2013). Explicitly noting oversights can help students develop a critical

understanding of gender and sexuality. Students could be asked to consider the limitations of such research: What families are left out? How might findings differ if

alternate families were included? We have found that after helping students identify

these oversights and limitations, students will begin to do so on their own in class

discussion and written assignments.

If course texts address various dimension of stratification, are they presented as

separate topics? Research on introductory textbooks, for example, finds that race,

class, and gender are often examined using different levels of analysis (Ferree and

Hall 1996; Puentes and Gougherty 2013). Textbooks are far more likely to use

socialization to explain gender inequality than racial or class inequality. Race is

most frequently discussed at the meso-level, in terms of group differences, and class

is most often discussed at the macro-level through the use of cross-societal comparisons. When this occurs, students may leave the class primarily understanding

gender as personality, class as structure, and race as something in between (Puentes

and Gougherty 2013).

Because addressing intersectionality is not usually a priority in scholarship that

does not explicitly focus on gender or sexuality (and was not in the past even for

scholarship in these areas), instructors may have to find their own ways to incorporate this concept. A sociology of work class may highlight intersectionality by discussing sources of job segregation. One explanation, the desertion hypothesis,

suggests that workers leave occupations that they see as stereotypical of the “opposite” gender faster than occupations they perceive as appropriate for their own gender (Wade and Ferree 2014). The instructor could ask students to come up with

other ways occupations are stereotyped in order to promote inclusion for some and


K. Burke and A. Trumpy

marginalization of others. Are there stereotypically black, gay, or upper class occupations? How do these assumptions intersect with other identity related stereotypes,

and how are workers affected by these interactions? Instructors may want to find a

list of highly gender-segregated occupations and ask about other assumed characteristics of workers in these occupations. For example, only 6 % of American pilots

are women, but only 0.003 % of pilots are black women. Furthermore, while men

are more likely to be police officers than women, lesbian and bisexual women are

ten times more likely to work as police officers than heterosexual women (Wade

and Ferree 2014; see also Duffy 2007; Mintz and Krymkowski 2010 for further

discussions of gender, race, and occupational segregation). These types of discussion will help students see that privilege and disadvantage rarely stem from a single

source of identity (Williams 2013). Incorporating examples of intersectionality

throughout the course, and encouraging students to come up with their own examples, will help students realize that acknowledging one is privileged in certain ways

is not a denial of marginalization or difficulty.



In this chapter, we have outlined some of the challenges of teaching about gender

and sexuality in courses primarily focused on other topics. If instructors in sociology courses do not explicitly ask students to engage in a sociological understanding

of gender and sexuality, students will likely think of differences and disparities in

naturalized and inevitable ways. We propose strategies to teach about gender and

sexuality in all sociology courses, regardless of the course’s primary focus. First,

instead of avoiding outliers to social patters, we offer examples of ways that exceptional cases can help instructors teach about gender and sexuality. Second, we offer

ideas for instructors to use intersectionality to integrate gender and sexuality within

other course topics.

We conclude with a final suggestion to teach about gender and sexuality: that

instructors distinguish between what is (based on society’s constructed expectations) and what should be (a more inclusive, just world). Rather than exclusively

focusing sociology courses on critiques of problems, we suggest that instructors

also allow students to formulate alternatives to current systems and consider “transformative strategies” to make them possible (Wright 2007). A classroom activity

created by our colleague Charisse Levchak (presented in the Appendix) provides an

example of an assignment that uses students’ descriptions of utopic societies to

think about the role of gender and sexuality in these improved worlds. Connecting

visions of a more just world to actual efforts of social change may help students

apply their knowledge to the real world. This assignment allows instructors to connect student imaginations to feminist and queer ideas, bringing increased awareness

to social movements they may have formerly discounted. Teaching in this way can

help instructors move beyond the disparities plaguing our social world to thinking

about ways to transform it. This can allow instructors to critically and hopefully

incorporate gender and sexuality into all sociology courses.


Making the Invisible Visible: Shining a Light on Gender and Sexuality…



Beemyn, B. G. (n.d.). How to be an ally to transgender and intersex people. The Stonewall Center,

University of Massachusetts, Amherst. www.umass.edu/…/listWidget/8751/How%20to

%20Be%20a%20Trans%20Ally.pdf. Accessed 7 Nov 2014.

Boyd, H. (2014, February 21). Trans 101. Public talk given at St. Norbert College.

Choo, H. Y., & Ferree, M. M. (2010). Practicing intersectionality in sociological research: A critical analysis of inclusions, interactions, and institutions in the study of inequalities. Sociological

Theory, 28(2), 129–149.

Collins, P.H. (1993). Toward a new vision: Race, class, and gender as categories of analysis and

connection. Race, Sex & Class, 1(1), 25–45.

Duffy, M. (2007). Doing the dirty work: Gender, race, and reproductive labor in historical perspective. Gender & Society, 21(3), 313–336.

Ferree, M. M., & Hall, E. J. (1996). Rethinking stratification from a feminist perspective: Gender,

race, and class in mainstream textbooks. American Sociological Review, 61(6), 929–950.

Kleinman, S., Copp, M., & Sandstrom, K. (2006). Making sexism visible: Birdcages, bartians, and

pregnant ben. Teaching Sociology, 34(2), 126–142.

McCall, L. (2005). The complexity of intersectionality. Signs, 30(3), 1771–1800.

Mintz, B., & Krymkowski, D. H. (2010). The intersection of race/ethnicity and gender in occupational segregation: Changes over time in the contemporary United States. International Journal

of Sociology, 40(4), 31–58.

Moore, M., & Stambolis-Ruhstorfer, M. (2013). LGBT sexuality and families at the start of the

twenty-first century. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 491–507.

Pathela, P., Hajat, A., Schilinger, J., Blank, A., Sell, R., & Mostashari, F. (2006). Discordance

between sexual behavior and self-reported sexual identity: a population-based survey of New

York City men. Annals of Internal Medicine, 145, 416–425.

Pomerantz, S., Raby, R., & Stefanik, A. (2013). Girls run the world? Caught between sexism and

postfeminism in the School. Gender & Society, 27, 185–207.

Puentes, J., & Gougherty, M. (2013). Intersections of gender, race, and class in introductory textbooks. Teaching Sociology, 41(2), 159–171.

Teich, N. (2012). Transgender 101: A simple guide to a complex issue. New York: Columbia

University Press.

Wade, L., & Ferree, M. M. (2014). Gender: Ideas, interactions, institutions. New York: W. W.

Norton & Company.

Wentling, T., Windsor, E., Schilt, K., & Lucal, B. (2008). Teaching transgender. Teaching

Sociology, 36(1), 49–57.

West, C., & Fenstermaker, S. (1995). Doing difference. Gender & Society, 9(1), 8–37.

Williams, C. L. (2013). The glass escalator, revisited: Gender inequality in neoliberal times.

Gender & Society, 27(5), 606–629.

Wright, E. O. (2007). Guidelines for envisioning real utopias. Soundings, 36, 26.

Conclusion: Pedagogical and Theoretical

Strategies for Teaching Sex and Gender

With recent advances for women in the workforce, improved female access to

participation in sports, and the so-called “American boy crisis,” students are increasingly skeptical about the continuance of sexism in the United States. Further, students take for granted the ideas that men and women are the only available gender

categories and that the differences between them are meaningful. They assume

popular notions of the meaning of gender, sex, and sexuality as well as the way

these categories intersect. Thus, in the classroom, instructors need to not only teach

current knowledge regarding sex and gender but also dismantle decades of socialization into hegemonic discourses on gender and sex, something that often brings

out strong defenses for students. These realities present an urgent need for continued analysis within higher education with regards to gender and sex. To meet that

call, the scholars included this book provide innovative pedagogy, theory, and strategies to help graduate students as well as college and university instructors to overcome four central obstacles in teaching about sex and gender to today’s students.

The first central obstacle tackled in this volume is the invisibility of inequality.

Gender and sex are socially constructed as dichotomous categories with “natural”

distinctions. These notions are reified in popular discourse explaining differences as

simply “boys will be boys” and “girls will be girls”, which encourages students to

think about gender in essentialist ways. For example, men in the United States continue to outnumber women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields (this is not true for some countries in the Middle East, Asia, and the

former Soviet Union) (INWES 2007; Jacobs 1996) and famous academics such as

Harvard President Larry Summers persist in explaining this disparity as a lack of

innate female intelligence (Summers 2005) as opposed to socialization and the

additional challenges faced by women in science. To help instructors, the authors in

Part I: Reframing Gender provide tools to resist popular discourses regarding the

relationship between gender, sex, and sexuality as well as the false notion that gender, sex, and sexuality are dichotomous categories. This is explored through specific

examples such as sports (McRae), through a theoretical lens (Miller; HappelParkins; Custer; Haltinner; Jollymore) and in more conceptual (Henderson) ways.

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

K. Haltinner, R. Pilgeram (eds.), Teaching Gender and Sex

in Contemporary America, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30364-2



Conclusion: Pedagogical and Theoretical Strategies for Teaching Sex and Gender

Another challenge faced by instructors is helping students understand systems of

power and the ways that gender interacts with those systems. For example, in the

United States women continue to earn $0.78 for every man’s $1.00 and are frequently passed up for high-power positions or cast as emotional or incompetent

once there. Further, men continue to be promoted more quickly than their female

colleagues at colleges and universities (Perna 2001). Television and magazine ads

continue to treat women’s bodies as objects to be consumed. Not unrelatedly, sexual

assault continues to plague college campuses: it is estimated that nearly 3 % of

women in college are raped every year; a college or university with 10,000 female

students should prepare for approximately 350 rapes per year (Fisher et al. 2000).

Part II: Intersecting with Systems of Power suggests practical strategies for

instructors who teach about the relationship between gender and other power-based

systems including reproductive rights (Windsor), violence (Hollander; McGary),

work (Anderson and Faust; Anderson), and the media (Harker; Walters and Kimmel;

Chepp and Andrist; Green and VanOort). These chapters explore ways to critique

these systems, to employ distinct forms of media in the classroom, and offer suggestions for how to better empower students through difficult conversations.

A third obstacle instructors face is facilitating open and authentic communication in classes about gender and sex. Some students meet discussions that challenge

their worldview with resistance. Others find themselves angry or devastated upon

learning about social inequality. These heightened feelings can lead to tense

moments in the classroom and/or overwhelm students. In Part III: Creating

Intentional Classroom Dynamics, the authors focus on cultivating connection and

conversation in classes on gender and sex. This includes “being real” (Kunkle),

engaging with student resistance (Caviness et al) and rage (Cohan), and creating

hope (Hidalgo; Rehm).

A final obstacle met by some instructors is the challenge of discussing gender

and its relationship to other fields of inquiry. Part IV: Teaching About Gender and

Sex in Broader Contexts explores both ways to expand inclusion in the classroom

related to queer and trans* students (Craig; Wentling), students with disabilities

(Albanesi et al), students with a distinct cultural background than the instructor

(Grewal), and in courses that are not primarily focused on sex and gender (Andersen;

Burke and Trumpy). In sum, the authors in this section encourage instructors to

address the rage, pain, and embarrassment that students may face while also encouraging them to think critically about their personal experiences. Part of this process

involves putting student experiences in larger social contexts and creating safe

spaces for conversation in the classroom.

This volume further suggests ways to examine gender and sex from a societal

level, and using that foundation to examine one’s own positionality and experience.

Instructors must boldly provide an examined historical and contemporary examination of systems of patriarchy and misogyny, while also interrogating the construction of maintenance of narrow discourses related to gender, sex, and sexuality.

Instructors who engage in this work may meet deep resistance from students,

their colleagues, and administration as they are challenging deeply embedded and

Conclusion: Pedagogical and Theoretical Strategies for Teaching Sex and Gender


held beliefs about things many people take for granted. Nonetheless, this work is

necessary for a truly critical analysis of our society, a deep understanding of social

power and their impact on individuals, and ultimately altering the patriarchal

status quo.


Aminzade, R., & Pescosolido B. (1999). Reconstructing the social worlds of higher education:

Changes, challenges, and dilemmas. In B. Pescosolido & Aminzade R. (Eds.), The social

worlds of higher education (pp. 601–608). Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Haltinner, K. (Ed.). (2014). Teaching race and anti-racism in contemporary America. New York:


INWES. (2007). INWES—Building a better future worldwide. Statistics and Surveys. Retrieved

September 8, 2008, from http://www.inwes.org/resources_statistics.asp.

Jacobs, J. (1996). Gender inequality and higher education. Annual Review of Sociology, 22,


Perna, L. (2001). Sex and race differences in faculty tenure and promotion. Research in Higher

Education, 42(5), 541–567.

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