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Interdisciplinary Concentration in Sexualities

Program Planner

While sexuality and sexual desire are part of the human experience, every culture determines appropriate expressions of the sexual drive. Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality illustrates the historical construction of sexual desires and the ways in which these constructions illustrate the power dynamics of a society. While common myth dictates that sexual acts are intimate and personal, reality reveals that sexuality is public and politicized, and is seen an area for social control. Current debates and discourse over sexuality and sexual identity, as well as reproductive rights, illustrate the public nature of human sexuality.

This concentration explores the ways human sexuality is regulated, celebrated, expressed, constructed, marketed and experienced.   Students learn about public debates over sexual issues, expressions of sexuality and sexual identity. Upon completion of the concentration, students will understand the complex intertwining systems between human sexuality and privilege, government, religion and other social institutions. They will be able to recognize and analyze relationships between private sexual expressions and public sexual debates, and ways in which the private and the public are constructed in relation to each other.   While the students’ choices will determine the material covered, students will study common themes such as sex roles, gender roles, reproductive rights, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered identities, GBLT civil rights, sexual violence, sexual desire, debates about sex education, media representations of sexuality, and sexual hierarchies.

Faculty Sponsor

Ann Marie Nicolosi (Women’s & Gender Studies)



Required Course

  • WGS 250/Politics of Sexuality (social science)*


Important Note: make sure that at least 2 of courses of the total six are Social Science courses and at least 2 are Arts and Humanities courses

Choose 5 from among the following

Social Science
  • WGS 340/HIS 397/Gay and Lesbian History*
  • HIS 395/History of Western Sexuality*
  • PSY 370/Love and Sex (Prerequisite: PSY 101)
  • PSY 470/Sexuality Across the Lifespan (Prerequisite: Psychology major, senior standing)
  • SOC 335/Courtship, Marriage and the Family (Prerequisite: SOC 101 or HON 216)
Arts and Humanities
  • WGS 240/Intro to Gay and Lesbian Studies*
  • WGS 305/AAH343/COM343/Looking At Women: Representation, Feminism and Film*
  • WGS 320/LIT 315/Men and Masculinities*
  • WGS 325/Feminist Theories (Prerequisite: one WGS course)
  • WGS 341/LIT 313/Gay and Lesbian Literature*


*Courses without Prerequisites

In addition to courses required by this concentration, a student must complete one approved course in quantitative reasoning and one approved course in laboratory science to satisfy breadth requirements in liberal learning. Students should consult their major or open option advisors about how best to complete other liberal learning requirements.