Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture

Language and culture

About this minor

Why do some scientists argue that there are five sexes? Why is it important to study sexuality outside the reproductive framework? To what extent do historical assumptions of gender or sexual difference influence our ethnic or cultural identification and our thinking about “race”? This minor tackles some of the most controversial and contested questions of our time, while avoiding the pitfalls of easy answers and trendy talking points. To understand how systems of gender and sexuality operate in our current lives, we need to study how people in the past conceptualized these categories. Since the 19th and early 20th century, certain researchers and artists started to see masculinity and femininity as cultural constructions instead of unique essences; The scholarly term “gender” was introduced in the 1980s to challenge the binary vision of the world; and more recently, critiques of “heteronormativity,” and even “homonormativity” have shown that one’s experiences of sexuality is socially organized and made compulsory. Likewise, cultural difference, race, and ethnicity have social histories and ideologies. Through an in-depth analysis and open discussion of a broad variety of theoretical and cultural texts, students in this minor will explore the cultural constructions of femininity and masculinity, normal and perverse sexualities, and racial marking. To study these cultural constructions, we will engage in deep analyses of arts and culture, from manifestos, novels, and poetry, to paintings, films, and commercials, from prehistorical cosmologies to Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. As a result, this minor traces a connection between current activist movements and genealogies of gender, sexuality, and race.

The Gender and Sexuality minor supports all university study programs by teaching students how to use sophisticated conceptual tools to analyze difference and diversity. Courses can be taken as electives, with preference given to students who register for the entire minor.

Good to know

  • Omvang: 30 EC

Link to more information

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  • Start date

    1 September 2024

    • Ends
      5 July 2025
    • Term *
      Minor academic year
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    Enrolment period closed
These offerings are valid for students of TU Delft