History of Women, Sex, and the Family

Course Number: HST 225
Transcript Title: Hst of Wom, Sex, & The Family
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Examines the historical and cultural variations in family life and sexuality in the 19th and 20th centuries in an international context (including the United States) through topics such as courtship, marriage, reproduction, violence, colonialism, homosexuality, and work. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Evaluate changes and patterns in the history of family life and women's sexuality and their impact on society, politics, economics and culture.
  2. Recognize influences of changing political, social, economic, religious, sexual, and cultural patterns on the lives of women and their families.
  3. Connect historical themes in women's sexual and family life with present issues.
  4. Communicate effectively regarding historical topics in writing and speaking.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources.
  • Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct independent interpretations.
  • Think critically about the relationships between past and present events and issues.
  • Demonstrate college-level communications skills: listening, speaking, and writing.

Course Activities and Design

  • Lecture
  • Small group discussion
  • Class discussion
  • Oral presentation
  • Essay Exams
  • Research Paper

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills

  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context.
  • Analyze and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence.
  • Assess the motivation and purpose of the use of evidence.

Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation:

  • Identify a historian’s thesis and supporting evidence.
  • Evaluate the arguments used to support different interpretations of historical issues.
  • Develop your own thesis and historical interpretation and use evidence to support it.

Think critically about the relationship between past and present events and issues:

  • Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues.

Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic:

  • Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic.
  • Communicate in writing an understanding of historical process and an evaluation of how concepts or values change over time.

Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas to a particular audience which may include:

  • Working collaboratively with other students to evaluate and understand historical events.
  • Working collaboratively with others in discussions, debate, or role plays.
  • Presenting information in oral presentations.

Themes, Concepts and Issues

  • Historical and cultural variations in family life and sexuality
  • Courtship, marriage, and motherhood
  • Individual and state regulation of reproduction
  • Incest, rape, and domestic violence
  • Colonialism and war
  • Racism, nativism, ethnocentrism
  • Homosexuality
  • Gender roles
  • Work, class, and economics
  • Governmental leadership and policy

Topics May Include: 

  • Kinship structures
  • International adoption
  • Prostitution
  • Sex trafficking
  • Population control
  • Sterilization
  • Female circumcision
  • Hijab
  • Sati
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Miscegenation
  • Domestic partnerships
  • Comfort Women
  • Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo
  • Midwifery
  • Courtship
  • Rape
  • Abortion and birth control
  • Slave families
  • Arranged marriages