Sex/Gender – Nature/Nurture: Intersections of Biology and Society


Debates about sexuality, sex, and gender extend well beyond the walls of the academy or the science laboratory to be found in living room conversations, policy discussions, religious sermons, and popular culture. These debates hinge on radically different ideas about the relative effects of biological forces vs. social forces, or nature vs. nurture. This course will explore how nature/nurture emerged as a scientific and popular debate, giving time to both “sides” of the debate and presenting perspectives from biological and brain sciences as well as social-construction theories. It will also look at new developments in science and cultural fields that are reconsidering how biology and environments interact. The course will also debate how sex and sexuality is formed through the interplay of genetic information, hormones, material bodies, and social environments and reflect on the implications of these new directions for law, policy, and popular understandings concerning sex.  One Course.


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