Introduction to Sexual and Gender Diversity

GNDS 215/3.0


This course is an introduction to studies in sexuality and gender diversity. It will survey the field and include topics such as classical inquiries into sexuality, contemporary theories on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities, sexual movements, human rights, sexual morality, pornography, global sex trade, and queer cultural production. This course is open to all students but required for students enrolled in the Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity. It is designed to introduce SXGS students to the field and prepare them for selecting selecting future courses.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe diverse gender and sexual identities, practices, and experiences
  2. Identify and describe strategies for social justice and change for a more equitable society
  3. Explain the importance of power relations in relation to social, political, and economic context in shaping understandings of sex, gender, and sexual diversity
  4. Critically analyze some of the ways that sex, gender, and sexual diversity have been theorized
  5. Apply a critical intersectional approach to analyze the ways that race, class, (dis)ability, and nationality interact with experiences of gender, gender identities, and sexuality
  6. Critically engage with current controversies and debates within the field of gender and sexuality studies


  • Theorizing Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • Discourses of Difference
  • Queer Theory, Queer Politics
  • Identity and Community
  • Governance of Bodies
  • SXGD and Idigeneity
  • SXGD and Racialization
  • SXGD and Health and Well-Being: Age/Aging and Disability
  • SXGD, Youth and Education
  • SXGD, Class, and Sex Work


Fall 2024
Course Dates
Delivery Mode


30% - Writing Exercises
25% - Quizzes
15% - Media Reflection
30% - Final Paper

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (e.g. webinars).

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Required Textbook

  • Ferber, Abby L., Kimberly Holcomb, and Tre Wentling. 2016. Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. The New Basics. 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a week (120 hours per term equivalent) in study/reading and online activity for GNDS 215.