Women, Gender and Sexuality

WGS 3559: Examining Gender Based Violence [3]

Lisa Speidel, Lecturer

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. These models include the public health model, men as peer educators, social marketing, mentoring programs, bystander intervention curricula, consent campaigns and sex positive education. The discussion will also consist of examining the research on these programs' effectiveness, if they enact change, or in actuality exclude certain populations and/or unknowingly support the cultural systems that perpetuate gender based violence.