Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom


Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom is the first interdisciplinary collection of activities devoted entirely to teaching about gender and sexuality. It offers both new and seasoned instructors a range of exciting exercises that can be immediately adapted for their own classes, at various levels, and across a range of disciplines. Activities are self-contained, classroom-tested, and edited for ease of use and potential to remain current. Each activity is thoroughly described ...

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Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom

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Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom is the first interdisciplinary collection of activities devoted entirely to teaching about gender and sexuality. It offers both new and seasoned instructors a range of exciting exercises that can be immediately adapted for their own classes, at various levels, and across a range of disciplines. Activities are self-contained, classroom-tested, and edited for ease of use and potential to remain current. Each activity is thoroughly described with a comprehensive rationale that allows even those unfamiliar with the material/concepts to quickly understand and access the material, learning objectives, required time and materials, directions for facilitation, debriefing questions, cautionary advice, and other applications. For the reader’s benefit, each activity is briefly summarized in the table of contents and organized according to themes common to most social science classrooms: Work, Media, Sexuality, Body, etc. Many activities also include handouts that can be photocopied and used immediately in the classroom. Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom will be the standard desk-reference on this topic for years to come, and will be indispensable to those who regularly teach on these topics.

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Editorial Reviews

Linda Nicholson
The scholarship on women, gender and sexuality has been steadily expanding since the 1970s. But there has been much less scholarship and dialogue about Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies pedagogy. This volume makes an important contribution to this much-needed discussion. It is full of useful activities that help teachers and students negotiate some of the minefields present in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies classroom.
Barbara Gurr
The strengths of this project include its wide range of topics covered and the wide range of learning and teaching styles addressed. Kinesthetic exercises, writing exercises, and oral arguments all contribute to making sense of the concepts embedded in the women’s and gender studies classroom, and this book offers many ways to use and adapt these styles. Many of the exercises are innovative in their approach to standard topics, and will help students clarify complex ideas while also making them “real” in their personal lives. Overall, I think this is an exciting collection of thought-provoking exercises which can not only be used immediately in the classroom, but which will also offer inspiration to instructors in terms of thinking outside of the box we often build for ourselves.
Rebecca Reviere
This book is a series of fascinating exercises, designed to involve students more deeply in their own learning. Overall, I found them instructor-friendly and appropriate for the designated students. This book will be a welcome addition to any instructor’s library. After teaching for a while most of us have a repertoire of activities, but new ones are always welcome. New professors will love this. I would buy this book.
Rebecca Sanford
This book meets a need as an instructor resource. The types of activities range across many potential course applications. I have not seen another similar book and I am happy this one is forthcoming. Overall, the materials are absolutely appropriate for the college classroom. Many would also be appropriate for an advanced high school student. Additionally, some of the content would lend itself to stand-alone or workshop type training settings. The ideals of active learning are highlighted in many of the sections and the activities in many cases appear to be ones that the student would find memorable and clearly able to make important points. I would both purchase and recommend this book. I was impressed with the content well beyond my expectations. There are numerous activities that read as fantastic experiences for the students and instructors alike. I also enjoyed the abstract content for the activities and the authors’ making their cases for why and how they developed and used their activities. I look forward to seeing this work published.
Shira Tarrant
I am so excited about this book! Michael J. Murphy and Elizabeth Ribarsky’s collection of engaging ideas will surely encourage intellectual discovery among college students everywhere. Gender and sexuality studies professors at last have a go-to source for innovative, active-learning exercises that address the politics of diversity and social justice.
John Landreau
Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom is a 'must have' resource for any professor teaching in the field of gender and sexuality studies. Each chapter offers hands-on classroom exercises that offer creative and intellectually rigorous approaches to working with a significant concept, problem or question. This is a wonderful, wide-ranging book whose influence on pedagogy in the field will be felt for a long time.
Sex Roles: A Journal of Research
Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom is an accurate title for this collection of interesting, innovative, classroom-based activities. According to the editors, Murphy and Ribarsky, the text aims to provide a myriad of examples of activities which could be utilized to teach a variety of topics related to sexuality and gender. As such, the text is a useful resource and teaching tool which can be utilized to integrate pedagogical diversity into the classroom. . . .The topical areas addressed in Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality are vast and wide-ranging. The text is interdisciplinary in nature and thus is well-suited for a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, public health, communication, human development, family studies, gender studies, and women studies. . . .one of the activities encourages students to think critically about the lens through which fairy-tale stories are told and encourages students to think differently about how contemporary American culture constructs gender and gender assigned roles. Future K-12 teachers would greatly benefit from exposure to this critical lens. . . .in addition to college professors and instructors and high school teachers, educators working for non-for profit, community-based or public health organizations may also find utility in the activities presented in the text. . . .Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality is stylistically unique in that the text does not have to be read cover to cover. In fact, one of the positive features of this text is that an educator could skim through the table of contents in order to look for a specific topic of interest, activity that may be relevant to an aspect of their course, or an issue they wish to cover, and implement the activity in their class. . . .Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality is a unique text; there are few resources that one could utilize to compare this text. . . .The activities are easily adaptable for a variety of audiences and the depth and breadth of content addressed in the various activities could be useful for a range of disciplines.
Journal of Lesbian
With creative ideas for experiential activities that span various learning skills, this book can provide useful material as well as inspiration for instructors. For other social justice educators, this book may also be helpful as some of the activities can be adapted to discuss issues surrounding race or ethnicity . . . [T]his book will certainly be a welcome addition to an instructor’s teaching toolbox and help make him or her a more innovate and creative educator.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475801804
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/16/2013
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Ribarsky (PhD University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is an assistant professor in the communication department at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in interpersonal communication. Dr. Ribarsky's research focuses on the construction of individual and relational identities. Specifically, much of her research is devoted to understanding the gendered communication surrounding dating and sexual communication. Her research has been published in various academic journals and books, including Communication Quarterly, Teaching Ideas for the Basic Communication Course, and Fix Me Up, a book examining the reality of reality television. She also has made numerous presentations at regional and national communication conferences and has won top paper awards.

Michael J. Murphy is assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Iowa, and masters and doctoral degrees in the history of American art and visual culture from Washington University in St. Louis. He was the first male-bodied graduate of that institution to earn the doctorate with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. He has published on the history of men’s clothing in the U.S., rape prevention social marketing efforts, and the place of masculinities in academic women’s studies. For several years he has taught introductory and advanced courses in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

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Table of Contents

How to Use this Book
I. Exploring Ethics, Values, Beliefs
1. Where Do You Stand: Assessing Students’ Values and Beliefs—Hazel Rozema
2. Femininity and Masculinity: An Exploration of the Relative Elements of Gender Identity—Evangeline Weiss and Kerry Poynter
3. Is it Theft?: Using the Ethics of Crime to Frame a Discussion of Sexual Consent and Sexual Assault—Mara K. Berkland
4. Bringing the Gender Movements Alive through Role Play—Sherianne Shuler
5. Arguing Over Theories of Gender Development—Shelly Schaefer Hinck and Edward A. Hinck
6. Same-Sex Marriage Debate: Gay/Lesbian Rights vs. Queer Critiques of Marriage—Elizabeth Currans
II. Sexuality
7. Sexual Secret Cards: Examining Social Norms and Cultural Taboos around Sexuality—Shawn Trivette
8. Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality—Robyn Ochs and Michael J. Murphy
9. Dancing in Class: Choreographing Gendered Sexuality—Susan E. Stiritz
10. Discussing Gender and Sexuality ‘Hot Button’ Issues: Considering the Role of Religion and Religious Beliefs—Navita Cummings James
III. Friendship and Romantic Relationships
11. Choose Your Own Adventure: Examining Social Exchange Theory and Gendered Relational Choices—Elizabeth Ribarsky
12. Perceptions of Conversations and Gendered Language in Same- and Cross-sex Friendships—Allison R. Thorson
13. Let’s Talk About Sex: Teaching College Students How to Navigate Sexual Communication Conversations with Relational Partners—Jessica A. Nodulman
IV. Literature
14. Encouraging Reader Identification with LGBT Literary Characters through Role-play—David Hennessee
15. Designing Utopia: Teaching Gender through the Creation of ‘Hisland’—Christin L. Munsch
16. The Big Bad Wolf Carries a Purse: Restorying Gender Roles in Popular Children’s Stories—Stacy Tye-Williams
V. Media and Artifacts
17. Marlboro Men, Virginia Slims & Lucky Strikes: The Social Construction of Reality in Tobacco Advertising—Amie Kincaid
18. Writing A Non-Sexist Television Advertisement—David Bobbitt
19. Being a Man: Challenging or Reinforcing Embodied Masculinities in the University Classroom—Jessica J. Eckstein
20. Communicating Gender Expectations: An Analysis of Boys’ and Girls’ Toys and Games—Elizabeth Tolman
21. Engendering Material Culture: The Gendered Packaging of Bath and Beauty Products—Michael J. Murphy
VI. Body
22. Voicing Gender: Critically Examining Expectations about Gender and Vocalics—Lisa K. Hanasono
23. Performing and Analyzing Gendered Nonverbal Communication—Deborah Cunningham Breede
24. Gender-Norm Violation and Analysis—Tamara Berg
VII. Work
25. Gender at Work: Revealing and Reconciling the Influence of Gender Norms on Perceived Occupational Roles—Jessica Furgerson
26. Analyzing Media Representations of Powerful Women in the Workplace—Sarah Stone Watt
27. Let's Go to Work: Discovering the Prevalence and Place of Gender and Sexuality Expectations in Organizations—Jeanette Valenti
28. What’s the policy?: Exploring Sexual Harassment Policies in Organizations—Joy Daggs
VIII. Global/Intersectional Issues
29. Crash: Seeing the Power of Intersectional Analyses—Sal Renshaw
30. Us and Them: Teaching Students to Critically Analyze Gender in a Global Context—Amy Eisen Cislo
31. Claiming Your Baggage: Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in American Popular Culture—Christina Holmes
List of Contributors

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