Research Papers On Gender Studies

This list is meant to give you some ideas about the topics for research papers in this course. It is not meant to be exhaustive. You should also realize that the topics are stated very broadly and that you will have to narrow the topic you choose considerably.

Homophobia and gender

Cultural differences in ways men and women can exhibit male and female roles (hijab, berache, etc.).

Male and female aggression

Relational aggression in women

Women and men and sports

Male vs. female math ability

Lesbians and homosexuals and relationships

Anorexia and Bulimia in males and females

Pornography and the treatment of women

TV programs and their betrayal of male and female roles

Gender and low self esteem

Date rape

Oxytocin: The hormone of bonding ane men and women

Gender and child abuse

Woman as victim

Male and female attractiveness

Males and female in the single scene

Gender and mating strategies

Hormones and female caregiving

Learned helplessness and achievement in males and females

How males and females adjust to marriage

The effect of fathers on children's development

Working mothers and children's development

Male vs. female bosses

The men's movement

The women's movement

Gender and the classroom

Toys and play of boys and girls


Gender and marital and relationships preferences

Power roles in marriages


Opposite sex friends

Nonverbal communication and gender

Cognitive differences

Company policies on families

Men in female jobs

Differences in male and female earning capacity

Sex segregated careers

The effects of divorce and gender

Changes in gender behavior with age

Use of the masculine in language

Sexual dysfunction and gender




Male sports and Misogyny

Sex discrimination

Sexual harassment

Mothers who stay home vs. those who have careers

Single parenting

Homosexual families

Sexual behavior

Physical health differences

Psychological health differences

Gender and aging

Abortion and gender

Women and politics

Women in the military

Single sex schools

Emotional differences in the sexes

Dual career families

Division of labor in marriage.


Alexthymia, or the lack of emotional responsiveness in men.

Successful women and their relation with their father

Economic progress in women's careers

Females and the glass ceiling

Childlessness in marriages

Women with outstanding careers

Homosexual marriage

TOPIC OF YOUR CHOICE. Don't be afraid to think of your own topic after perusing your text. There is a great deal I have left out.

Bernadette P. Resurrección

Since the 1980s, the discourse that women are intrinsically closer to nature, are hardest hit by environmental degradation, and have special knowledge of natural resource systems has influenced development policy circles and intervention programmes globally. Despite criticism being levelled time and again at the discourse's potential risk of passing on the burden of environmental care onto women while letting men off the hook, the argument still holds strong sway in current climate change debates. Women are once again being singled out as climate victims and 'powerful agents of change, as they are seen to lead early warning systems and identify water supplies that have saved climate change-affected communities' (GenderCC, 2008: 1). The paper explores why and how women-environment linkages remain seductive and influential, and forwards three arguments for this: first, for gender to muster entry into climate politics, women's identities are projected as fixed, centred, and uniform - and tied to nature; second, the discourse of climate change vulnerability has proven to be a strategic entry point for feminist advocacy; and finally, inertia associated with past environmental projects has reinstated the women-environment discourse in contemporary climate change discussions and possibly, future interventions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Feride Acar | Gülbanu Altunok

This paper aims to review the 'politics of the intimate' in the Turkish context. By looking at regulations and policy debates in the areas of sexuality, reproduction and family and partnership in the 2000s, it critically analyzes the scope and content of state policies, as well as the policy debates in these areas, from a gender and gender equality perspective. This analysis further emphasizes the interaction between neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism, two political rationalities that have come to play important roles in the shaping or regulation of public and private domains, and the relations within these domains, in the last decade in Turkey. This paper will suggest that given the intermesh of neoliberal and neoconservative rationalities, the notion of gender equality loses its significance, leaving disadvantaged groups open to the detrimental effects of dominant power relations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Sarah Pedersen | Janet Smithson

This paper investigates the motivations and online behaviour of the users of Mumsnet, a UK online parenting community. The Mumsnet discussion forum is characterised by its difference to other mothering websites in its language use, its celebration of confrontational, opinionated and well-informed debate, its tolerance of aggression and swearing and its focus on entertainment rather than support. Many of these attributes have previously been seen as male online behaviour, but it is argued that new forms of femininities are emerging and a clear-cut binary divide between male and female online behaviour can no longer be applied. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Heidi Safia Mirza

The paper examines the narratives of three professional transnational Muslim women of Turkish, Pakistani and Indian heritage living and working in Britain. Developing a post colonial black feminist framework of embodied intersectionality, the analysis explores ways in which the regulatory discursive power to 'name' the 'Muslim woman' in the 'West' as either dangerous or oppressed is lived out on and within the body. Embodied practices such as choosing to wear the hijab, which one woman described as a 'second skin', allows an insight into the ways in which the women draw on their subjecthood and inner sense of self to negotiate the affective 'postcolonial disjunctures' of racism and Islamophobia which framed their everyday lives. Embodied intersectionality as a feminist critical theory of race and racism shows how gendered and raced representation is powerfully written on and experienced within the body, and how Muslim women's agency challenges and transforms hegemonic discourses of race, gender and religion in transnational diasporic spaces. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Jessica Megarry

Launched in 2006, the growth of Twitter as a microblogging platform has been exponential, yet little research to date specifically considers women's experiences of the medium. This article draws on a case study of the #mencallmethings hashtag, in which women describe and discuss the verbal abuse that they have received online from men. Providing a broad based context for the specific analysis of the #mencallmethings hashtag, I concentra te on the theoretical contributions made by western feminist research over the last 30. years to embed the aggressive harassment of women online in a wide review of types of threats to women. I argue that the harassment conveyed in the hashtag should be recognised as online sexual harassment, and a form of excluding women's voices from the digital public sphere. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Seema Arora-Jonsson

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Forty years of gender research has ensured that gender is an important category that needs to be taken into account in environmental policy and practice. A great deal of finances and attention are currently being directed to gender in development and environmental organizations. At the same time, as gender research has become more sophisticated and theoretically strong, there is also frustration among academic researchers as well as practitioners and policy makers that it appears to have had a marginal effect on environmental practice on the ground.Policies have turned to gender mainstreaming, attempted to include women and other marginalized social groups in environmental management and markets. Change has been mixed. Mainstreaming can become a technocratic exercise. The assumption that competing interests can be negotiated by adding women to organizations for environmental governance, in disregard for social relations, is problematic. Stereo-types about women and men, sometimes buttressed by gender research predominate in policy and programs. Inclusion in markets offer new options but can further curb women's agency. Contradictions arise - as gender becomes a part of the official machinery, when women are regarded as a collective but addressed as individuals in programs and when the focus is on the governance of gender with little attention on the gender of neoliberal governance. Yet, support for 'gender programs' has also led to unintended openings for empowerment. It is clear that the meaning of gender is far from settled and there are intensified efforts to define what 'gender' is in each context. I discuss the renewed interest in gender and what this engagement with power might mean for gender research, policy and practice and where we might go from here.

Evelien Geerts | Iris Van der Tuin

This article reviews the debate on 'intersectionality' as the dominant approach in gender studies, with an emphasis on the politics of representation. The debate on intersectionality officially began in the late 1980s, though the approach can be traced back to the institutionalization of women's studies in the 1970s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. Black and lesbian feminists have long advocated hyphenated identities to be the backbone of feminist thought. But in recent years, intersectionality has sustained criticism from numerous angles within gender studies, ranging from feminist philosophy to applied political research. This article will use the theorization of 'interference' as a searchlight to produce an overview of this interdisciplinary debate, culminating in our affirmative answer to the question: should we move from intersectionality to interference? Our answer is based on onto-epistemological reflections, i.e., reflections in which being and knowing are always already entangled. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Margaret Alston

© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Gender mainstreaming refers to the process of incorporating a gender perspective to any action, policy, legislation or action in order to ensure that the concerns of all are addressed and that gender inequalities are not perpetuated through institutional means. However the implementation of gender mainstreaming across the globe has not necessarily resulted in advances for women, as it is usually associated with a winding back of women-focused policies and programs. Emerging research indicates that climate change has significant gendered impacts and yet policies and practices designed to address and shape mitigation and adaptation strategies have failed to incorporate gender mainstreaming. Further the scientific and technological focus of many of these institutional responses has led to a lack of attention to social outcomes more generally. This has resulted in a lack of attention to the vulnerable groups, including women. This paper outlines an argument not only for gender mainstreaming of climate policy but also for policy focused specifically on women's empowerment. Gender mainstreaming is essential in ensuring that not only climate policies and programs are comprehensive, but so too are women-focused policies designed to ensure that women are supported and empowered to take action on their own behalf.

Christabelle Sethna | Marion Doull

Access to abortion services is uneven throughout Canada. As a result, women cross provincial and territorial borders to garner access to abortion services. In this first-time study, the travel women undertake to access abortion services at freestanding clinics across the country was systematically tracked, mapped, and analyzed using questionnaire-based data. A total of 1186 women from 17 freestanding abortion clinics provided information about their journeys. The mapped data reflect the acknowledged importance of the "spatial turn" in the health sciences and provide a graphic illustration of spatial disparities in abortion access in Canada, namely: 1) the paucity of services outside urban centers; 2) the existence of substantial access gaps, particularly for women living in Atlantic, Northern and coastal communities; 3) the burdensome costs of travel and, in some cases, the costs of the abortion procedure itself, especially for younger women who travel the farthest; 4) the unique challenges First Nations and Métis women face in accessing abortion services. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gökçe Yurdakul | Anna C. Korteweg

The past decade has seen a surge in media and policy debates on honor-based violence, honor killing, and forced marriage in the Netherlands, Germany, and Britain. Drawing on political debates and policy responses to these forms of violence, we analyze how understandings of "gender equality" inform distinct approaches to immigrant integration. The Dutch case shows how the idea of gender equality can sometimes be used to include Muslim communities in the larger population, by generating policy responses that are more likely to position immigrants as full members of society. Alternatively, as the German case most clearly illustrates, the idea of gender equality can inform the stigmatization of Muslim communities and lead to exclusionary immigration policies. In Britain, gender equality discourses stand in tension with discourses on race, with some NGO's accusing government of failing women out of fear of being accused of racism. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Nikki Hayfield | Victoria Clarke | Emma Halliwell | Helen Malson

A number of feminist scholars have argued that dress and appearance can be used to critique the dominant culture and explore alternative subjectivities. Research on non-heterosexual visual identities has explored the role that appearance and clothing practices can play in the construction of individual identities and collective communities. However, bisexual women are largely invisible in these discussions. The minimal existing research suggests that bisexual women are unable to communicate their sexuality through their clothing and appearance. This study explored how bisexual women manage their bodies and appearance in relation to their bisexuality. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 self-identified bisexual women and the data were analysed using thematic analysis. The participants reported particular visual aesthetics associated with an embodied lesbian identity; however, they reported no visual image of bisexual women. Nonetheless, despite their lack of access to a distinct visual identity, the women negotiated ways in which to incorporate their bisexual identity into their dress and appearance, and considered their bisexuality an important aspect of their identity, which they would like to be recognised and acknowledged. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Lorraine Nencel

This article traces the feminist discussion concerning the importance of reflexive analysis and reflexive writing for feminist research. It starts by describing two feminist currents that concern the way to be reflexive. The first, reflexivity as a corrective measure accords a great deal of significance to self-reflexivity and consequently, the analysis of the researcher's positionality is incorporated into the text. There are other feminist researchers that challenge this type of reflexivity claiming that this type of reflexivity innately reproduces the same relations they attempt to abolish. Their solution lies, among other things, in unsettling the research subject in a postmodernist text. While both currents consider their use of reflexivity as multi-vocal, intersubjective and post-colonial, they both nonetheless, depart from an ontologically predefined research relationship which confines the use of reflexivity to certain pre-defined scenarios. The article suggests the need to conceptualize reflexivity as situated. How to be reflexive will depend on the objectives of the research, the type of knowledge produced, the position of the research subject in the broader society and the particularities of the research context. Representational strategies will flow out of these decisions. This position is supported by illustrating the decision-making processes concerning the representational strategies taken in two research projects conducted in Lima, Peru. Because of the particularities of each context different textual strategies were used regarding the representation of the researcher's and research subjects' positionality in the text. It concludes with an epistemological discussion concerning engagement and adoption of a radical politics of empathy to ensure that the conceptualization of reflexivity as situated will not lead to a feminist research in which "anything goes" © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Hanane Darhour | Drude Dahlerup

This article surveys the adoption and implementation of gender quota provisions in the three Moroccan parliamentary elections, 2002, 2007 and 2011, following the first adoption of gender quotas. Despite being effective in bringing a substantial number of women into the parliament, the question should be asked, can gender quotas, once introduced, lead to more sustainable political representation for women? By introducing the concept of sustainable representation, defined as a durable, substantial political representation of women, this article points to the importance of studying how gender quotas may or may not alter some of the barriers, which prevents women's equal participation and representation. This study of the nomination and election of women through three subsequent elections in Morocco since the adoption of gender quotas, traces the evolution of the reserved seat system from a controversial and fragile system set by an 'honorary agreement' to an expanded and finally legalized system. The analysis suggests that the political uprising in the neighboring countries during 2010-11 created a political transitional atmosphere for the reform of the Moroccan constitution, and provided an opportunity for institutionalizing the principle of gender equality in the 2011 constitution. In exploring the link between the reserved seat system and having women elected in the general district seats in Moroccan elections, the article scrutinizes the widespread supposition in the quota literature that quotas in the form of reserved seats tend to block the nomination of women to constituency seats, thus constituting a kind of glass ceiling. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Idil Göksel

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of conservatism in shaping women's labor force participation decision. Turkey is a particularly important case as, unlike in many other countries, female labor force participation (FLFP) has shown a decreasing trend over the last 50. years. In addition to the main determinants found in previous literature, this paper adds a new variable that influences FLFP in Turkey: conservatism and the role of social norms. Three indices that might influence FLFP are identified: religion, social norms, and conservatism. The results are in accordance with the previous literature, which reveals that urbanization, and education levels play an important role in FLFP. An additional important innovation of this paper is the identification of the impact of social norms and religion on rural and urban areas. While such factors have a negative effect on female employment in urban areas, no significant effect is seen in rural areas. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gill Allwood

This article argues that the unintended gender consequences of EU development policy are caused not (or not only) by the failure to gender mainstream, but by the way in which gender slips off the agenda once other policies intersect with development. Policy coherence for development (PCD) is an attempt to prevent policies in other areas having a negative impact on development, but although it claims that gender is a crosscutting issue, there is little evidence that gender features at the intersections between development and other related areas. Therefore, gender must be kept at the forefront of policy analysis if unintended gender consequences are to be avoided. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Glenda Wall

Drawing on previous feminist and poststructuralist work in the areas of motherhood, childhood, and risk, this study examines changing cultural representations of motherhood and children's needs in articles on child care and mothers' employment in Canada's top parenting magazine. A comparative thematic analysis of articles on child care and mother's employment from two distinct time periods (1984-1989 and 2007-2010) was completed. Findings suggest that although mothers' employment is now more taken-for-granted than in the 1980s, there is less discursive space for women to lay claim to good motherhood while devoting themselves to careers. This occurred as discourses of intensive, child-centered mothering, neoliberal self-responsibility, and risk converged to position children as more needy, vulnerable and dependent, and mothers' employment as more opposed to child well-being. The implications of this include decreased legitimacy for mothers' own needs and desires, and for gender equity claims regarding women's employment and child care. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gretchen Bauer | Jennie E. Burnet

The 'fast track' approach for increasing women's representation in politics through the adoption of electoral gender quotas has replaced the 'incremental approach' (waiting for cultural, political and socioeconomic developments over time) in recent years. Scholars have disagreed whether increasing women's representation in sub-Saharan Africa where legislatures are weak and executives are strong is meaningless or may even undermine democracy; or increasing women's representation results in significant substantive or symbolic representation effects. This article compares two divergent cases: Botswana, a stable multiparty democracy in southern Africa and Rwanda, an increasingly authoritarian single party dominant state in east Africa. In Botswana, gender quota campaigns have raised awareness but have been unsuccessful in achieving quotas, and women's parliamentary representation is low and continues to fall. In Rwanda, a constitutional gender quota, including reserved seats combined with voluntary party quotas for women have resulted in a majority female lower house of parliament-the only such parliament in the world. These cases suggest that a democratic state is not necessarily more likely to adopt gender quotas or have more women in parliament than a less democratic one and that there are other factors that are more important in determining both. Moreover, in single party dominant systems with limited democracy, like Rwanda, elected women are able to represent women's interests, and campaigns to adopt quotas, even when unsuccessful as in democratic Botswana, can contribute to substantive and symbolic representation effects even with only limited descriptive representation. Thus, the conditions under which and the ways in which women's interests are represented must be understood broadly. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Cynthia Cockburn

During the nationalist wars that destroyed Yugoslavia, a women's organization in central Bosnia-Herzegovina was set up to respond to the needs of women raped and traumatized in the fighting. In 1995, as the war ended, the author made a study of the feminist and anti-nationalist thinking and relationships among the doctors, therapists and other staff of Medica Women's Therapy Centre. In 2012 she returned to Bosnia to reinterview women and track developments in this post-conflict period. Medica now supports survivors of domestic violence, on the one hand working in a close partnership with local government services and on the other lobbying the state for improved legislation and provision. In a political system riven by nationalism, women report a retrogression in gender relations and high levels of violence against women. A recent split in Medica signals divergences in feminism and aspirations to a more radical and holistic movement. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Greta Gaard

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Issues that women traditionally organize around-environmental health, habitats, livelihoods-have been marginalized in debates that treat climate change as a scientific problem requiring technological and scientific solutions without substantially transforming ideologies and economies of domination, exploitation and colonialism. Issues that GLBTQ people organize around-bullying in the schools, hate crimes, marriage equality, fair housing and health care-aren't even noted in climate change discussions. Feminist analyses are well positioned to address these and other structural in equalities in climate crises, and to unmask the gendered character of first-world overconsumption; moreover, both feminist animal studies and posthumanism bring awareness of species as an unexamined dimension in climate change. A queer, posthumanist, ecological and feminist approach-brought together through the intersectional lens of ecofeminism-is needed to tackle the antifeminist threads companioning the scientific response to climate change: the linked rhetorics of population control, erotophobia and ecophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, and increased militarism.

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