This course explores the ways in which tradition, myth, social stereotypes and social forces shape American women’s lives. We will study the influence of gender from several disciplinary perspectives to help illuminate large subject areas, such as work, love, creativity, pornography, the family, communication, personal identity and selfworth. Any study of women recognizes that gender roles affect both women and men; thus, discussion includes issues related to male and female social development. Readings balance women’s common realities, such as biological functions and sex role training, with individual realities influenced by class, race, age and sexual orientation. Central to this course are choices and constraints contemporary women and men face as we make our way into the twenty-first century.