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Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Second Edition

Melissa J. Gillis and Andrew T. Jacobs

Publication Date - 15 October 2019

ISBN: 9780190064235

560 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The only interdisciplinary introduction to gender studies text on the market


Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Second Edition, is a truly interdisciplinary and intersectional text featuring global examples for women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Its student-centered rhetorical approach and pedagogical features--including an engaging image program, prompts for activism, a comprehensive glossary, appendices of key terms, annotated bibliographies for additional reading, and "Feminisms in Brief"--aid students in assimilating fundamental women's and gender studies terms and concepts. While it is a textbook and not an anthology, Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies adopts the best facets of the anthology approach: it includes discussions of frequently anthologized writers and writing that is more engaging and narrative in style than traditional textbooks. The book systematically covers core interdisciplinary concepts so that students are prepared for women's and gender studies courses in a variety of disciplines.

New to this Edition

  • Provides up-to-date coverage of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, the Women's March, the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, and the Trump Administration
  • Now includes "Read, Listen, Watch" features at the end of each chapter with new and updated resources. Many additional resources have also been added to the Student Website.
  • Now includes "Take Stock, Take Action" prompts at the end of each chapter with questions to encourage students to apply concepts, initiate inquiries, and take action on their campuses and in their wider communities
  • Offers expanded discussions of sexism, racism, whiteness, and white privilege to emphasize their systemic nature
  • Provides updated information and statistics throughout

About the Author(s)

Melissa J. Gillis has taught the introductory Women's, Gender, and Sexuality course at SUNY Rockland Community College and has worked for various non-governmental organizations at the United Nations. She is a writer and an editor.

Andrew T. Jacobs is Professor of Speech at SUNY Rockland Community College, where he co-developed the introductory Women's, Gender, and Sexuality course.


"Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies approaches the topic from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. It provides cohesive and comprehensive coverage of a very diverse topic and does so in a succinct and accessible manner. The book is fast-paced enough that students do not get bogged down in minutiae, while at the same time, it covers the material and provides enough real-life examples that it leads students to think critically about the topic."--J. Suzanne Farmer, Northeastern State University

"Everything about Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies--from the narrative voice, to the contemporary pop culture examples in the text, to the supplemental materials--is developed with an undergraduate audience in mind and with an eye to ease of teaching. I love this approach."--Jean Keller, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

"I appreciate the breadth of Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies--it's impressive in its coverage of so many historical movements. The book is comprehensive, up to date, and tackles topics that are often ignored in competing books. It's the best of the books out there on gender studies."--Kim Lacey, Saginaw Valley State University

Table of Contents



    1. Sex, Gender, and Social Construction
    The Social Construction of Sex
    Sex Identity
    Revised Definition of Sex

    Gender Expression and Gender Identity
    Gender Polarization
    Gender Roles
    Doing Sex and Gender Across Cultures
    Gender Ideology
    Sex and Gender as Cognitive Schemas
    Multiple Femininities and Masculinities
    Revised Definition of Gender

    Baby X: The Conclusion
    Sexual Orientation
    Third Sex / Third Gender
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    2. Language and Communication
    What Language Reveals, Conceals, and Imposes
    The Primacy of Males and Masculine Terms
    The Sex and Gender of Things
    Parallel Language
    Mr., Miss, Mrs., Ms., and Mx.

    Language, Communication, and Semantic Change
    Appropriation of Stigmatized Names
    Communication and Reception Theory

    Sex, Gender, and Communication
    Gender, Class, and Speech
    Women, Men, and Communities of Practice

    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    3. Gender and In/Equality
    The Social Construction of Gender
    Gender Construction in Children
    The Social Costs of Traditional Femininity and Masculinity
    Sexism: A Special Case of Prejudice
    Political and Economic Inequality

    --Patriarchy at Home
    The "Mythical Norm"
    What About the Oppression of Men?
    Not All Discrimination Is Oppression

    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms


    4. LGBTQQIA Identities and Challenges
    Measuring Sexual Orientation
    Kinsey Scale
    Klein Grid

    Storms's Scale
    Looking Back, Looking Forward

    LGBTQQIA Identities
    A/Asexual (Also, Ally)

    The Problem of Heterosexual Focus
    The Lesbian Continuum and Marriage Resistance in Southern China
    Anti-LGBT Attitudes
    Straight Male Homonegativity Regarding Gay Men
    Straight Male Homonegativity Regarding Lesbians
    Straight Female Homonegativity Regarding Gay Men and Lesbians
    Negative Attitudes Regarding Bisexuals
    Negative Attitudes Regarding Transgender People
    Racism and Homophobia Against LGBT People of Color
    Microagressions Against LGBT People of Color
    LGBTQ+ Community and Social Support
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    5. Constructions of Homosexualities: Past and Present
    Ancient Greece
    Sappho and Female Same-Sex Sexuality
    Ancient Rome
    Male Same-Sex Relations
    Female Same-Sex Relations
    Male Same-Sex Sexual Relations in Latin American Cultures
    The Emergence of the Modern Homosexual
    Marriage in Early Modern England
    Social Relations in Modern Europe
    --The Rise of Capitalist Social Relations
    --The Modern Regime of Sexuality
    --Gay Identity as a Movement
    The Stonewall Uprising and LGBTQ Liberation in the United States
    Homosexualities in Africa
    Boy-Wives and Bagburu Relationships
    Mummy-Baby Relationships
    Homosexuality as Un-African
    Personification of Homosexuality
    India's Hijras: Troubling Same- and Opposite-Sex Schemas
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    6. Beyond the Mythical Norm: Considering Race, Class, and Gender
    Examining Race
    Biology and Racial Classification

    Abandoning the Race Concept
    Keeping Race to Aid Activism
    Us and Them
    Gender, Race, and Ethnicity Are Socially Constructed
    Socioeconomic Status in America
    Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America
    The Idea of the Model Minority
    History of Discrimination

    Black People in the United States
    The Myth of the Strong Black Woman
    Black Men, Black Women, and Public Surveillance
    Representations of Black People

    The Latino Threat Narrative
    Machismo and Marianismo

    American Indians
    A Rich History Rife With Exploitation
    Multiracial America
    Whiteness and White Privilege
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    7. Embodiment, Beauty, and the Viewer
    Fat Studies and Activism
    History of Women's Body Shape and Clothing in the United States
    1890s: Shifting Ideals in a Shifting Social Climate
    1900s-1920s: The Age of the Boyish Flapper
    1930s: A Turn to Mature, Classical Beauty
    1940s-1950s: Move to Glamorous Fuller Figures
    1960s-1970s: Return to the Thin Ideal
    1980s: Return to the Hourglass Look
    1990s: Enter the Waif Look
    2000s-2010s: Slim and Hourglass Looks
    The Significance of Female Body Shape and Fashion Class
    History of Men's Body Shape and Clothing in the United States
    1666-1800s: Into the Great Masculine Renunciation
    1890s: Enter the Athletic, Muscular Man
    1907-1950s: Continuation of the Broad-Shouldered
    1960s: Enter the Peacock
    1970s: Continuation of the Peacock and Rugged Masculinity
    1980s: Rise of the Hypermuscular Ideal
    1990s: Advent of the Metrosexual
    2000s-2010s: Popularization of the Slim Ideal
    The Significance of Male Body Shape and Fashion

    Viewing Gendered Bodies
    The Male Gaze
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    8. Work, Inequality, and Neoliberalism
    Examining Unequal Pay
    Starting Out Behind, Staying Behind
    Paid Work and Parenting
    Women's Work, Men's Work
    Fewer Women and People of Color at the Top
    Women Leaders in a Bind
    The Politics of Housework
    The Value of All That Housework
    Why Count Unpaid Work?

    Work, Family, and Social Policy
    Work in a Globalizing World
    Documenting Life on the Global Assembly Line
    Modern-Day Slavery
    Neoliberalism and Globalization

    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    9. Gender-Based Violence
    (Re)Defining Gender-Based Violence
    Intimate Partner Violence
    Intimate Partner Violence Globally
    Intimate Partner Violence in the United States and Other Western Countries
    Where We Get Our Data
    Making Sense of the Data: Typologies of Violence

    --Intimate Terrorism
    --Violent Resistance
    --Situational Couple Violence
    Risk Factors Associated With Intimate Partner Violence
    Feminist Activism and Intimate Partner Violence
    Women Advocate for Change

    Sexual Violence
    What Do We Know About Rape?
    How We Study Who Rapes and Why
    Debunking Rape Myths
    Sexual Assault on Campus

    --The Case of Margaux J.
    Sexual Violence by Women
    The Role of Culture in Sexual Assault
    Advocates Campaign Against Sexual Violence

    MeToo and Time's Up
    Violence Against Members of the LGBT Community
    Anti-LGBT Violence and Hate Crimes
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms


    10. Human Rights and Global Activism
    La Guerra del Agua--The Water War
    Water and Gender
    Water Privatization Globally
    Water as a Human Right
    Managing Water in the Public Interest

    A Note About Reading This Chapter
    Human Trafficking
    Human Trafficking Is a Global Problem
    Global Trends in Trafficking

    --South and East Asia and the Pacific
    --Africa and the Middle East
    --Europe and Central Asia
    Trafficking for Purposes of Sexual Exploitation
    Who Is Vulnerable?
    What Are the Causes of Human Trafficking?

    Genital Cutting Practices
    Traditional Female Genital Cutting
    --The Reasons Why Female Cutting Is Practiced
    --Consequences of Traditional Female Genital Cutting
    --Combating Female Genital Cutting
    --Critiquing the Western Discourse
    Interrogating Genital Modification Globally
    Human Rights and the LGBTI Community
    No Country Is Free of Human Rights Abuses
    The United Nations, Human Rights, and Activism
    Universal and Indivisible?
    Public and Private Rights
    Engendering Human Rights Law Through a Women's Convention

    --Where CEDAW Falls Short
    --U.S. Nonratification of CEDAW
    The UN Fourth World Conference on Women
    --A Conference of Firsts
    --Sex and Gender
    --Multiple Oppressions
    --Sexual Rights and Sexual Orientation
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    11. History of Women's Activism in the United States: Struggles and Solidarities
    Rethinking the Waves
    The Roots of Feminist Organizing in the United States
    The Antislavery Movement and the Woman Question
    Labor Movements in an Industrializing America

    Seneca Falls, Suffrage, and Beyond
    Schism in the Woman Movement
    Equal Rights for Women

    There Is No Break in the Waves
    The Antilynching Movement
    The Rise of Organized Labor
    The Birth Control Movement
    The 1950s: Emerging Movements, Pivotal Moments
    U.S. Feminist Organizing from 1960
    Equality Feminism
    Difference Feminism
    Multiracial Feminism
    Feminist Advocacy: 1960-1990
    --Body Image and Beauty Standards
    --Capitalism and Imperialism
    --Violence Against Women
    --Reproductive Health
    Issue Focus: Reproductive Choice
    The 1980s, Conservatism, and Backlash in the United States
    The Third Wave
    Hip-Hop Feminism
    Riot Grrrls, Zines, and DIY Feminism
    Gaga Feminism
    Common Themes in Third Wave
    --Third Wave Feminists Take a Feminism Is for Everyone Approach
    --Third Wave Feminists Are Intentionally Multicultural, Coalitional, and Intersectional
    --Third Wave Feminists Are Antiessentialist
    --Third Wave Feminists Are Genderbending
    --Third Wave Feminists Engage Popular Culture
    --Third Wave Feminists Are Often Pro-Sex
    Second Wave Is to Third Wave as Mother Is to Daughter?
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    12. Feminisms: Theories and Practices
    Advantages of Feminist Theoretical Analysis
    Understanding Forms of Feminism
    Read and Re-Read the Forms of Feminism
    Understand There Are No Neat Divisions
    Recognize This Is a Brief Introduction
    Not Agreeing With
    Everything Is Okay
    Understand Antifeminism
    Liberal Feminist Theory
    History of Liberal Feminism
    Radical Feminist Theory
    History of Radical Feminism
    Marxist and Socialist Feminist Theory
    History of Marxist and Socialist Feminism
    U.S. Intersectional Feminist Theory
    History of U.S. Intersectional Feminism
    Transnational Feminist Theory
    History of Transnational Feminism
    Postmodern Feminist/Queer Theory
    History of Postmodernism and Queer Theory
    Think, Learn, Act
    Take Stock, Take Action
    Key Terms

    Appendix A: Basic Terms
    Appendix B: Names for People and Places
    Appendix C: Feminisms in Brief

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