Your Social Science Hub for Gender and Sexuality

Reports on Research, Theories, and Current Events

Sociologists have studied gender and sexuality since the nineteenth century. It remains one of the field's hottest topics today, in large part because issues of gender and sexuality are hotly contested in contemporary society.

Over the years sociologists have produced countless research studies on these topics, and theories for analyzing them. In this hub you'll find reviews of contemporary and historical theories, concepts, and research findings, and sociologically informed discussions of current events.

Full Transcript of Emma Watson's Speech on Gender Equality at the UN

Emma Watson with UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon at the launch of the HeForShe campaign in New York City.

A full transcript of Emma Watson's smart, important, sociologically informed, and compelling speech at the UN about ending gender inequality.

What's the Difference Between Sex and Gender?


Sociologists have demonstrated through research that gender is a set of learned behaviors, and only exists if we accomplish it in interaction with others.

The Most Important Words in Emma Watson's Speech Were About Masculinity


What Emma Watson said about masculinity at the UN eloquently synthesized years of sociological research on gender and violence.

Why We Selfie

Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

The ubiquitous selfie. Simply an act of vanity and narcissism? The Sociology Expert suggests some additional forces may be at play.

Why Gender Norms Matter

Hero Images/Getty Images

A visual explanation of how sociologists define "norms," what their implications are for individual and collective behavior, and what happens when we break them.

Study Finds Racial and Gender Bias in Professor Response to Students

Occupy Harvard

A recent study found that American professors are less likely to respond to emails from women and racial minority prospective graduate students.

How Does Gender Affect Social Stratification?

A businessman walks by a homeless woman holding a card requesting money on September 28, 2010 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

What is social stratification, and how do race, class, and gender affect it? This slide show brings the concept to life with compelling visualizations.

About Harriet Martineau, Founding Sociologist

Harriet Martineau by Richard Evans.

Wrongfully neglected today, Harriet Martineau was a prominent British writer and political activist, and one of the earliest Western sociologists and founders of the discipline.

The Gender Pay Gap is Real, and Here's Why it Exists

Businesswoman presenting project on digital tablet
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images

The gender pay gap is real, and can be seen in hourly earnings, weekly earnings, annual income, and wealth. It exists both across and within occupations.

The Sociology Expert's Halloween Costume No-Nos


Do you fancy yourself against racism, gender discrimination, sexual exploitation, and economic inequality? Then avoid these Halloween costumes at all cost.

Women and Racial Minorities Underrepresented in 114th Congress

A stark look at the implications of a mostly white, male, and wealthy government.

Girl Stabbed to Death for Saying No to Prom Suitor

Maren Sanchez

A 16 year old girl is stabbed to death for denying a prom suitor. A sociologist reflects on masculinity, rejection, and violence.

The Big Sexist Problem With Student Evaluations

Female professor talking to classroom full of students
Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images

Data from shows students more often rate men as intelligent, and penalize women for not providing emotional labor.

Why Breastfeeding in Public Is Taboo

Leilani Rogers (

Some say that taboos around breastfeeding in public exist because of the U.S.'s Puritanical roots, but I see darker and more dangerous reasons.

The Selfie Debates, Part I


What's so bad about selfies? Find out, in this sociologically infused round-up of the critiques of the craze.

The Selfie Debates, Part II

dulce de leche/Twitter

Think the selfie is vain, narcissistic, or self-exploitation? The reasons why some sociologists defend it may surprise you.

Let's Talk About the Orgasm Gap, Baby


In heterosexual encounters, men achieve orgasm three times as frequently as women. Are women naturally less sexual?

Is Wearing a Scarf Gay?

A sociologist reflects on why some ask this, and why there is a campaign to make scarves "manly."

Which Country Has the Smallest Gender Gap?

Commerce and Culture Agency/Getty Images

The latest report from World Economic Forum shows overall gains in closing the global gender gap, with Nordic countries leading the pack.

How Does the Average American Spend Their Time?

The 2013 American Time Use survey reveals sharp gendered disparities in how we spend our time.

5 Superstar Women Sociologists You Should Know

GraphicaArtis/Getty Images.

Get to know some of sociology's leading women, and why their research is important and celebrated.

About Patricia Hill Collins, Part 1

Patricia Hill Collins. American Sociological Association

A brief two-part biography and intellectual history of black feminist scholar Patricia Hill Collins.

About Patricia Hill Collins, Part 2

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1955.

Part 2 of a biography and intellectual history of black feminist scholar Patricia Hill Collins.

Why Boys with Sisters are More Likely to Be Republicans

Parents beware: how you delegate household labor among your kids could affect the political trajectory of our nation.

Understanding Intersectionality


When talking about privilege or oppression, we must take account of the intersecting nature of class, race, gender, sexuality, and nationality.

Why Are Black Girls Punished More Harshly Than White Girls and Boys in School?

A September 2014 report from NAACP and National Women's Law Center finds shockingly disparate rates of punishment experienced by black and white girls in schools.

How to Have a Feminist Valentine's Day

Sick of the damaging stereotypical gender and sexuality politics of Valentine's Day, a sociologist offers advice on how to cast them aside and truly enjoy Valentine's Day.

Why So Much Fuss About Kylie Jenner and Tyga?

Kylie Jenner sign copies of 'City Of Indra: The Story of Lex And Livia' at Bookends Bookstore on June 3, 2014 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Dave Kotinsky/FilmMagic

Is the tabloid media storm around Kylie Jenner and rapper Tyga just about age? A sociologist suspects that racial stereotypes are part of it.

Are Women More Productive Than Men in the Senate?

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: (L-R) U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) join other women Democratic senators for a news conference to announce their support for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Twelve of the 16 Democratic women senators made appearances during the news conference. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An analysis of seven years' worth of legislative data found that women are far more effective legislators than men in the Senate. Imagine what we could do with parity!

Studies Find Gender Pay Gap in Nursing and Children's Chores

Smith Collection/Getty Images

A study has found that men earn far more in the women-dominated field of nursing, and others show that boys are paid more for doing less chores than girls.

The "Ray Rice Makeup Tutorial" and the Political Power of Satire

Megan MacKay, Canadian comedian, in her satirical video about Ray Rice and the NFL. Megan MacKay

Social change only happens when people believe that it must. Satire like MacKay's can serve to shift popular consciousness on troubling problems.

What You Didn't Know About Online Harassment

KirbusEdvard/Getty Images

A study by Pew Research Center found that while online harassment is now common, young women are more likely to experience the most severe forms.

Should Advertising Images of People Be Regulated?

New bill proposes FTC prevent advertisers from using doctored images of bodies and faces, with much sociological, psychological, and medical research in support.

The Sociology of White Male Shooters

A memorial for those killed and injured in Isla Vista, California, by Elliot Rodger on May 23, 2014. Robyn Beck

White male shooters are the manifestation of a society sick with racism and patriarchy.

About the Sociology of Gender

Ida Jarosova/Getty Images

Looking at gender sociologically reveals the social and cultural dimensions of something that is often defined as biologically fixed. Gender is not biologically fixed at all, but rather is culturally learned and is something that can and often does change over time.

A Brief Overview of Feminist Theory

Meriel Jane Waissman

Feminist theory provides one of the major contemporary approaches to sociology with its critical interrogation of power, domination, and inequality.

About Foucault's "History of Sexuality"

Michel Foucault.

The History of Sexuality is a three-volume series of books written between 1976 and 1984 by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault. His main goal in the books is to disprove the idea that Western society had repressed sexuality since the 17th century and that sexuality had been something that society did not talk about.