Gender Studies Course Descriptions


Gender Studies Lower Division Courses


SWMS 210gm Social Analysis of Gender (4)

Multidisciplinary survey of gender assumptions in relation to sexuality, mental health, social and political relations, and artistic expression.

SWMS 212g Studies in Gender and Sexuality: An Introduction (4)

Examination of how gender and sexuality have been constructed, experienced, and legislated.

SWMS 215gp Gender Conflict across Cultural Contexts (4)

Identification and examination of social and cultural conflicts through the lens of gender, and comparison of such conflicts across cultures, regions, and historical periods.

SWMS 225 Gender, Sex, and Science: A Gender Studies Approach (4)

Study of sex, gender in relation to science and social sciences; survey of scientific methods, approaches, current research; investigation of gender influences on scientific research.



Gender studies Upper Division Courses


SWMS 301gm Feminist Theory: An Introduction (4)

Theories of feminism; historical, social and cultural perspectives of the women’s movement in America, Europe, and in developing countries; men’s roles in the feminist movement.

SWMS 306 Introduction to LGBTQ Studies (4)

Interdisciplinary analysis of LGBTQ issues; examination of the intersections of gender and sexuality with social class, race, religion, and nationality.

SWMS 311 Gender Studies and the Community: Internship (4)

A combination of internships in the community and an intensive seminar on the relationship of the students in the academic community with the larger urban community of which it is a part.

SWMS 336 Health, Gender and Ethnicity (4)

Cross-cultural notions of the body, health, and healing; historic and cultural variability of ideas of reproduction, birth, sexuality, mental illness, and disability.

SWMS 349 Women and the Law (4)

Discussion of the relationship between women and the law in light of feminist jurisprudence, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and cross-cultural perspectives.

SWMS 355 Transgender Studies (4)

Analysis of transgender behaviors, from androgyny and transvestism to transexuality. Discussion of changing laws, representations, medical standards, and social attitudes towards transgender and intersex people.

SWMS 358 U.S. Gay and Lesbian History (4)

Exploration of shifting social organization and cultural meanings of same-sex desire and cross-gender behaviors in the U.S., primarily during the 20th century.

SWMS 384m Gender, Social Inequality, and Social Justice (4)

Analysis of the most effective strategies and techniques for reducing prejudice against racial/ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and others subjected to stigma.

SWMS 385m Men and Masculinity (4)

Interdisciplinary examination of social, personal meanings of masculinity; variety of male experience by social class, race, sexuality, and age; emerging masculinities of the future.

SWMS 390 Special Problems (1–4)

Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

SWMS 410 Senior Seminar in Gender Studies (4)

Study of a selected problem, period, or theme in the study of women and men in society by integrating perspectives from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies.

SWMS 415 Ecofeminism (4)

Examination of the philosophy and politics of Ecofeminism. It will critique the ideologies that link the oppression of women to the exploitation of nature. Recommended preparation: SWMS 210 or SWMS 301.

SWMS 420 Woman, Nature, Culture: The Behavioral Ecology of Women (4)

Analysis of theoretical perspectives and empirical data from biology, psychology and anthropology that relate to women’s physiology and behavior.

SWMS 425 Queer Los Angeles (4)

Interdisciplinary study of queer Los Angeles through examination of histories, memoirs, essays, fiction, poetry, documentaries, narrative films, and local archives.

SWMS 455m Gender and Sport (4)

Sport as an institutional locus for construction of gender relations; lives of female and male athletes; issues of sexuality, violence, racism, spectatorship, and media.

SWMS 490x Directed Research (1–8, max 12)

Independent research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

SWMS 492 Honors Thesis (4)

Writing of the honors thesis; for students in the Gender Studies Honors Program. Open only to gender studies majors. Recommended preparation: SWMS 410.

SWMS 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8)

Study of a selected problem, period, or theme through interdisciplinary approaches.

  • Gender Studies Program
  • University of Southern California
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, 422
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 90089-4352 USA