Focusing on Understanding Gendered Institutions Module 3 focuses on understanding gendered institutions.
One gendered institution in contemporary U.S. society that has recently been debated in the mainstream is sex/gender-segregated bathroom facilities. There is mainstream disagreement over how these facilities should be used, and whether the sex/gender-segregated nature of these facilities produces inequalities.
This activity will allow you to familiarize yourself with this topic and consider the policies and procedures of several universities.
Part I: Educate Yourself on this Topic
Begin by reading the three required readings for this project:
Focusing on Understanding Gendered Institutions Required Reading
Bathroom Battlegrounds and Penis Panics (Schilt and Westbrook 2015)
The Hidden Privilege in “Potty Politics (Davis 2017)
Transgender Individuals’ Access to College Housing and Bathrooms: Findings from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (Seelman 2014)
Then, read some of the optional readings included on Blackboard. These readings include reports on transgender bathroom access and experiences, recent non-partisan survey results, and articles referencing recent legislative changes.
Once you have some background on this topic, you can begin researching specific policies.
Part II: Researching Universities
Research the policies on the inclusion of gender-neutral/all-gender bathrooms at three different universities in the United States. You pick the universities; U.C. does not have to be one of your choices, but it can be. Find information on their policies, specific procedures, implementation plans, etc. See the Citations and References section below for information on citing your sources.
Part III: Analysis
Using what you have learned about this topic and specific university policy, you will write a 3-5-page paper (typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt.). Your paper must be submitted on Blackboard and will run through the SafeAssign Originality Checker.
The first section of your paper (at least 1 ½ pages) should start by explaining what an institution is and why bathrooms are a societal institution. Is it a gendered institution? If so, how? Is it a gendering institution? If so, how? Then, discuss and explain the debate regarding sex/gender-segregated bathrooms. Why are bathrooms segregated by sex? Where are they segregated by gender? How does this separation impact people who are transgender (this includes trans men and women and people who are nonbinary)? How does this impact people who are gender nonconforming (remember, cisgender people can be nonconforming too)? How is this related to inequality, social change, social justice, and other course concepts? This part of your paper should use the sources provided in the Blackboard assignment prompt to help you explain this debate. Sociologists are social scientists, which means we use research to explain the social world. For this reason, you MUST use specific research/data to support your discussion. See the section on Citations and References for information about citing sources.
The second section of your paper (at least 1 ½ pages) should compare and contrast the policies you identified for the three universities. If you attempted to research a specific university and could not find a policy, you can include that in your discussion. But, you must compare and contrast three separate university policies. Comparing and contrasting focuses on identifying the similarities and differences in items. Thus, you should not explain the three policies independent of the others. If it makes it easier, you can use a Venn diagram to help you identify the similarities and differences in policies. You can use Google to find templates.
The final section of your paper should discuss how the three universities you examined compare to the broader debate on this issue. How and why are university policies similar or different to the broader society? Can university policies help us shape practices in other spaces, such as workplaces, gyms, etc.? If yes, why? If no, why not? How does this institution (bathrooms)/this debate impact other institutions? Finish your paper by describing what all of this can tell us about gendered/gendering institutions and their place in society.
Focusing on Understanding Gendered Institutions Citations and References
Read this section carefully. When we use the ideas, statistics, etc. of another author, we must offer them attribution. In-text citations allow us to offer an author credit without ruining the flow of our writing. In this paper, you will be expected to use in-text citations to offer attribution to the sources you are using. An in-text citation should include the author last name and date and should be included any time you use specific details from another author’s work. Generally speaking, every author/source you have cited in your paper needs to have an entry in the reference page that allows the reader to identify and access that source. However, this paper will be a bit different. You do NOT need to have a listing in the reference page for those items that I have provided in the assignment prompt. You should still offer in-text citations to those items, but you do not have to write a reference. The proper in-text citation for each reading is posted next to it on
Focusing on Understanding Gendered Institutions Blackboard
Your reference page should include specific references for any source that is not a part of our course material, including those you use to discuss the various university policies. This means your reference page will need a minimum of three entries, one for each university. However, you may need to include additional references. You may use APA or ASA style for your references. Regardless of which style you use, you MUST include a full URL to any website you use. I should be able to click on that link and get to the page you are using.
YOU MAY NOT QUOTE ANY OF YOUR SOURCES. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
– You do NOT need to include a reference page listing for any of the course materials. Save time and focus on references for your outside sources.
– You MUST include a reference page listing for any source that is not a part of our course material. Write your reference using APA or ASA style. You must include a full URL to any webpage used.
Focusing on Understanding Gendered Institutions Personal Opinion
Note: Your opinion should NOT be included in this paper. You will lose points if you include opinionated statements in your paper regardless of what your specific stance is on this issue.