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A Look into WGST courses

Women and Gender Studies Learning Community Profile

Two courses — Religion 323 Sexual Ethics, taught by Dr. Laura Hartman, and Women's and Gender Studies 303 Gender and Sexuality, taught by Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow — take different disciplines and link them together through a common lens.

Sexual Ethics takes a look at gender and sexual behavior through the lenses of three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We seek to understand right and wrong, good and bad, in the light of these traditions, and also in light of current practices in society today. 

We ask tough questions about many important, though intimate, topics, from gender (did God make us only male and female? Does God have a gender? Why do some religions have strict rules about modesty between men and women?) to reproduction (why do some see contraception as immoral? Would you donate eggs or sperm to help a friend conceive a child?) to marriage (is it OK to live together without getting married? What's so bad about polygamy?) to sexual orientation (is there a "gay gene" and why would that matter? How do some gay Christians use the Bible to support homosexuality?). 

Thanks to the understanding we gain from WGST 303, students can delve deeply into these topics, and work well with classmates who are equally well versed in gender and sexuality. It is challenging to discuss sexuality in the classroom, but by creating a community of learners we develop the necessary rapport to allow students to articulate assumptions and question norms, safely, together.