The Nineteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Affirmative Action. These and other historic pieces of legislation have led to significant social change in women’s lives. Then where is the need for women, gender, and sexuality studies? Aren’t women “equal?” Despite decades of change, gender inequalities persist. Today’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs are about more than just demonstrating gender differences, whether these are in pay, medical treatment, representation in Congress, or parenting. Today, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies incorporate multiple and interrelated dimensions of inequality like race, social class, sexuality, and age to name a few. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies recognizes that there is no generic “woman,” nevertheless gender is still a central means through which societies organize meaning, identity, labor, and resources whether it be locally, nationally, or globally. Historic changes in globalization, technology, medicine, and culture have indeed transformed the world in which women and men navigate their lives.
The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies curriculum is a vital part of the education in critical thinking that students aim for when they come to Lehigh University. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at its core is about examining the interplay of privilege and power through a broad range of scholarship, whether it incorporates survey data, media studies, or art. Students can select from courses in both humanities and social sciences from at least seven different academic departments. Our faculty has a rich and varied experience in scholarship, teaching, and service connecting Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to Lehigh, our surrounding community, and the world beyond.
Jackie Krasas, Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies