Sociology Essay Topics on Gender

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

The role of gender in sociology is an important aspect of how people understand different social structures. This lesson offers essay topics that will help students understand and draw their own conclusions about the sociology of gender.

Studying Gender in Sociology

Are you trying to help your students think sociologically about the different issues and concepts they encounter in their daily lives? One aspect of this is helping students understand the ways that identity and identity categories impact social structures and status. Many of your students will have already thought about the role of gender in culture and in life, but they may not yet have experience thinking about gender through a sociological lens.

It can be very helpful to assign your students essay topics that will encourage deep and critical thought about ideas like gender in sociology. When writing essays, students will have to articulate their own theories and develop them with evidence from primary and secondary sources. The topics in this lesson will move students closer to the sociology of gender.

Gender and Sex

In this section, you will find topics oriented toward helping students tease out the complicated relationship between physical sex and gender in different societies.

  • What has been the historical relationship between gender and sex in Western societies, and how has this relationship proscribed how people live their lives? What are some of the ways that understandings of this relationship have changed over the course of the last five decades?
  • Describe the relationship between sex and gender in the second wave feminist sociological theories that grew out of the 1970s. Try to tease out the impact of this theory on overall social thought about how sex and gender are or are not conflated.
  • What have some important queer sociological theorists contributed to thought about the connection between sex and gender? Describe major similarities and differences between queer and feminist theory when it comes to defining this relationship.
  • What is your own belief system when it comes to defining the relationship between biological sex and gender? Try to characterize the experiences and values that have led you to develop this belief system, and consider how readings in sociology might influence you to probe some of your core beliefs.
  • Describe one society in which the relationship between sex and gender has historically been more fluid than in the West. Write about how this different relationship has influenced social structures and the lives of individuals and groups within that society.

Gender Roles

Here, you will find topics oriented toward encouraging critical thought about gender roles in cultures and societies, including stereotypes and their impact.

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