Sexuality studies explores sexuality as a central category of difference, investigating how the meanings attached to sexual practices, desires and identities impact people's lives and create hierarchies among them.
Sexuality studies at Dickinson encompasses two primary fields: LGBT studies (emphasizing the lived experience, history and politics of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans people, while challenging dominant binaries of heterosexual/homosexual and woman/man) and queer theory (emphasizing how queerness, behaviors and desire extend beyond LGB identities, while unpacking the way identity categories themselves are formed through processes of inclusion and exclusion).
Students at Dickinson minor in sexuality studies by taking the Introduction to Sexuality Studies course (WGSS 208) and one core course on either research methods or feminist theories. Students create their own path through the minor via four electives, exploring such topics as the construction and maintenance of norms governing sex, gender and sexuality; sexual assault; diverse experiences and expression of gendered identities; medical advances in the treatment of HIV; global sexual regulation, past and present; human trafficking; civil rights and antidiscrimination protections for queer and trans individuals; and more. A required internship exposes students to the complexities of fostering social justice in work and activist settings.