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Course Information

Gender and the Law

This course explores the relationship between gender and law. It focuses primarily on sex discrimination doctrines under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but also touches on issues related to gender in education, voting rights, reproductive rights, criminal law, and family law. We will try to understand the doctrine by considering various theoretical approaches and perspectives from outside the law, including history, economics, sociology, literature, philosophy, and feminist theories. Students should come away from this course with more thoughtful answers to questions including: what are the harms that sex discrimination law aims to address?; how does the law understand the relationships between sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation?; how do issues related to gender intersect with questions of race, religion, and disability?; when, if ever, are sex-based policies or distinctions justified?; and what legal interventions might be effective in promoting gender justice?