The course will explore how gender impacts our lives and life chances. The central themes of the course are historical changes in gender beliefs and practices; socialization practices that reproduce gender identities and restrict access to justice systems; how race/ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation shape the experience of gender; and the relationship between gender, power, and social inequality. The course focuses on the social construction of gender. Other theories of gender such as biological explanations will be discussed in comparison to the social constructionist approach. Gender will be explored as an institution and a system as well as how it influences individuals. Because gender does not exist in a vacuum, gender will be discussed in relation to its intersection with other social locations such as race, class, sexual orientation, age, and ethnicity.