Fall & Winter Quarters 8 credits
Saturday 9 am—5 pm SemII:E1105

Lori Blewett
Office B2127 Seminar II
Mailbox B2124 Seminar II
Tel. 360
867 6590 

Karen Hogan
Office B3110 Seminar II
Mailbox B2124 Seminar II
Tel. 360 867-5078

Please put the program title in the subject heading of all email or it is likely to be mistaken for spam. [at]=@


Program description



Online discussion



Student services

Archive: old notices

 Tentative Syllabus – Sex, Gender, and Evolution – Fall 2004

Wk Date Topics Readings (read by date listed) Assignments due Activities


2 Oct

How do natural and social scientists develop theories about sex, gender, and evolution?  What role does this research play in society?


Introductions and administration

KH: What is science? What is evolution? Why “why is there sex” is an interesting question.

LB: What makes a man? What makes a woman?

Project group formation


9 Oct

Introduction to the theory of evolution by natural selection. Analysis of gender and patriarchy.

Genome introduction

biology text chapter on genetics, molecular biology, and evolution;

Evolution of Sex Ch 1. An important question,

Allan Johnson The Gender Knot.

  Seminar questions

Questions for library research


  Fun with chromosomes

  KH: molecular biology

  Group processes

  Library exercise

  How to write papers



16 Oct

Sex and evolution: Why is there sex? Life histories,costs and benefits. Social construction of gender.  Gender and communication.

Dr Tatiana; Part III Are Men Necessary, pp. 167-234

Evolution of Sex Ch 10 Patterns of Sexuality; 

Bem Ch 1, 3, 4 on social construction of gender

  Seminar questions

  Group project outline, questions, and resources.

  Homework: genetics – Punnett squares, Hardy-Weinberg, mutations


  KH: sex, gender, modes of reproduction.

  KH: Statistics and “significant” differences.

  LB: Gender and communication.

  Film: Tough Guise


23 Oct

Gender and popular culture. Darwin on sexual selection

Evolution of Sex Ch 11: Why are males masculine and females feminine…;

sex ratios in India;

Julia Wood, Gendered Lives (excerpt).

Wood and Dindia, What’s the Difference: critique of gender research

  Seminar questions

  Communication paper due: “gender transgression” communication experiment – biological and sociological aspects


  Quiz on key facts and concepts

  Workshop on academic writing/peer review

  Analysis of popular magazines and gender

  Film: Still Killing Us Softly


30 Oct

The gender politics of evolutionary theory in late 19th and early 20th century Europe and America.

Genome Ch 15:Sex. 

Bem Ch 2 Biological essentialism

Blewett, Eugenics; 

Kohlstedt & Jorgensen, The Irrepressible Woman Question;

Laura Hershey, Choosing Disability

Tavris, The Mismeasure of Woman

  Seminar questions

  Communication paper revision due

  Evaluation questions



  Group project time.



6 Nov

Sex and ecology. Cultural variety in gender systems

Readings from Gender Diversity (pp. 1-70);

reread genetics, evolution, and molecular biology

  Seminar questions

  Group paper: biological and social functions and implications of a particular gender norm


 Review quiz; fundamental concepts of evolutionary biology and the social construction of patriarchy

  LB: cross-cultural studies

  Films: anthropology


13 Nov

Gender across cultures.  How has the social construction of gender and sexuality differed across cultures?

Dr Tatiana part two, pp. 93-165.

Optional: Read about inverted gender roles in wattled jacanas: short popular article, longer popular article, or scientific paper. This is probably the most extreme case of sex role reversal known in vertebrates.

Third Chimpanzee Part 2: Ch 3,4,5 on human sexuality, mate choice, and sexual selection

Gender Diversity (71-107).

  Seminar questions

  Possible additional assignment


  Possible guest speaker

  Group project time.



20 Nov

Nature or Nurture.  Contemporary debates about what drives human behavior

Testosterone and aggression,

fight or flight vs tend and befriend.

Bem - the last chapter

Dr Tatiana - Part I

  Seminar questions

  Possible additional assignment


  Compare popular article and scientific paper.

  Group project time.

  In-class Writing Experience™


4 Dec

Evaluating writings and popular representations of gender, sex, and evolution.

No assigned readings

  Group paper

  Draft self evaluation

  Workshop: Mars and Venus, single-sex schools, cross-sex hormones and brain functions.

  Peer-review of draft self evaluation

  How to give an oral presentation.



11 Dec

Student presentations.

this class will meet in A1105 Sem II.  


  Sex, gender and evolution in the future