Sexual and Gender Identities

A middle-aged, grey-haired female couple pose with their arms around each other,holding a sign with the words: Equal Rights For All. Love Is Love.

On June 26, 2013, people gathered at the Stonewall Inn in New York's Greenwich Village to celebrate the Supreme Court rulings affirming LGBT marriage equality. (Image courtesy of Michael Fleshman on flickr. License CC BY-NC.)


MIT Course Number

WGS.110J / 21H.108J

As Taught In

Spring 2016



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to the history of gender, sex, and sexuality in the modern United States, from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. It begins with an overview of historical approaches to the field, emphasizing the changing nature of sexual and gender identities over time. The remainder of the course flows chronologically, tracing the expanding and contracting nature of attempts to control, construct, and contain sexual and gender identities, as well as the efforts of those who worked to resist, reject, and reform institutionalized heterosexuality and mainstream configurations of gendered power.

Related Content

Caley Horan. WGS.110J Sexual and Gender Identities. Spring 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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