Berkeley fall courses include 'Reproductive Liberty and Justice,' 'Family Planning, Population Change, and Health'

'Reproductive Liberty and Justice' will explore how 'slavery, settler colonialism, racism, eugenics, and pronatalism have influenced the fights over control of fertility in the US.'

'Sex and Gender in Premodern Chinese Culture' will expose students to the three main issues of 'women’s status, homoeroticism, and the human body.'

The University of California, Berkeley recently released its list of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) courses for the upcoming fall semester that will teach students through intersectional approaches to topics like abortion and feminism. 

Among the courses that the university is set to offer is a special topics course titled “Reproductive Liberty and Justice,” which will examine “how the history of slavery, settler colonialism, racism, eugenics, and pronatalism have influenced the fights over control of fertility in the US.”

Students enrolled in the course will also discover “what people are doing in other parts of the world to claim and protect reproductive autonomy.”

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Another course, “Family Planning, Population Change, and Health,” analyzes the rise of the smaller family unit, and how “factors controlling access to fertility regulation” impacts family size.

This course “examines the determinants of family size and the role played by contraception, voluntary sterilization, and induced abortion in the transition to small families,” the class description reads. 

In “Sex and Gender in Premodern Chinese Culture,” students are required to examine ancient Chinese culture through the lens of “women’s status, homoeroticism, and the human body.” Discussions in the course will be “informed by cross-cultural comparisons with ancient Greece, Renaissance England, and Contemporary America.”

[Penn fall semester courses place LGBT rainbow-colored lenses on history, religion, and Japan]

“In contrast to our modern regime of sexuality, which collapses all the three aforementioned issues into the issues of desire and identity intrinsic to the body,” the course description reads, “we will see how the early Chinese regime of sexual act evolved into the early modern regime of emotion that concerned less inherent identities than a media culture of life-style performance.”

On its official website, UC Berkeley’s GWS department identifies three common “misconceptions” of a Gender and Women’s Studies degree, including that the program is “only for people who identify as women,” is “concerned only with middle class white women,” and is “bad for you on the job market.”

“Everyone should take at least one gender and sexuality class at Cal to understand the ways masculinities and femininities, desire and sexuality, work as systems of power as well as – potentially – empowerment,” the department states.

Campus Reform has reached out to all individuals and entities for comment and will update accordingly.