Sociology of Sex and Gender

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SOC 230

       Course Name: Sociology of Sex and Gender

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommended: SOC 101 or SOC 104

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces sociological perspectives on sex and gender as a factor in social stratification, gender role construction and acquisition, and the consequences of changing social definitions of gender roles across time and place. Content includes analyses of cross-cultural gender construction; gender socialization and inequality in education, the family, the workplace, and the mass media; and the impact of gender systems on life chances and outcomes, including intimacies and violence. IAI S7 904D

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain how the sociological perspective on sex and gender differs from other disciplinary approaches and how it differs from other common sense understandings of gender as natural or biologically determined.
  2. Describe how a person’s self and self-concept as a sexed and gendered being is formed through sustained social interaction with others in particular places and times.
  3. Identify the relationship among various parts of society (e.g., economic, political, cultural, and social forces) and how they impact gender systems and gendered behavior in everyday life.
  4. Describe how sex and gender differ across societies, states, and/or cultures, and how these differences affect the life chances of people in varying social contexts.
  5. Recognize how gender systems and gendered behavior, ideas of gender inequality and justice, and methods of interpretation, vary over culture and time.
  6. Use the sociological perspective to analyze a reading, selection, newspaper/magazine article, or film/movie for sociological content related to sex and gender.
  7. Apply qualitative measures to analyze cultural artifacts (e.g., movies, television programs, etc.) for implicit messages regarding normative gender performances.
  8. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of varying points of view, including the validity of various theories and research findings related to the social scientific study of sex and gender systems.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction/Explanations of Sex and Gender
  2. Cross Cultural Constructions of Gender
  3. Sociological Vs. Psychological Perspectives on Gender
  4. The Social Construction of Gender
  5. Learning Difference, Learning Inequality: Gender & Education
  6. Learning Difference, Learning Inequality: Gender & Family
  7. Learning Difference, Learning Inequality: Gender & Mass Media
  8. Separate and Unequal: Gender and Work
  9. Sex, Gender, and the Body
  10. Gender and Intimacies: Friendship and Love
  11. Gender and Violence
  12. Gender in the Future

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods may include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student’s ability to read and understand college-level text material. Additionally, students will write extensively throughout the course including, but not limited to, the recording of observations and the analysis of professional literature. Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 pages of material that will be graded. This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries and/or analysis of journal articles, films, advertising, or other media, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Kimmel, Michael & Michael Messner (eds.) (2010). Men’s Lives (8th edition). Boston. MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Root Aulette, Judy, Wittner Judith, and Blakely, Kristen (2008). Gendered Worlds, Oxford University Press.

Kimmel, Michael and Aronson, Amy (eds.) (2007). The Gendered Society Reader. Oxford University Press.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The methods of evaluating student progress is at the discretion of the instructor within the guidelines provided by the college but will include one or more of the following: tests, quizzes, research papers and other forms of written work, journals, and critical reviews. These methods will be designed so as to assess the student's mastery of the course material and progress towards meeting the course learning objectives.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.