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SUNY Erie Library Resource Center

Gender Studies

A libguide of physical and digital resources to help students, teachers, staff and anyone else who is interested find information on gender, sex, sexuality and intersection of gender, sex and sexuality with other cultural forces

How to use this Libguide

This Resource Guide to Gender studies contains lists of digital and physical resources to help students, teachers, staff, and anyone else who might be interested, find information on gender, sex, sexuality and the intersection of gender, sex and sexuality with other cultural forces.

These lists are not meant to be absolutely comprehensive, but instead to act as a starting point to begin your research into a particular topic. Remember, while these are works recommended by us at the library, that does not mean all resources you find here are guaranteed to be completely accurate or relevant to all searches. You should always carefully read, review and evaluate any resources that you use for research, regardless of where you come across them.

The General Information page contains useful definitions for terms commonly used in Gender Studies research. It also contains databases and useful online resource for general information.

The Feminism page contains information on the history of the feminist movement, the political ideology of feminism and information on sociological issues viewed through a feminist lens.

The Men & Masculinity page contains information on men, specifically how gender, sex, and sexuality influence the ways men are perceived in society, how men think about themselves and how men interact with others.

The Sexuality and LGBTQ page contains information on human sexuality and information on the lives and experiences, both historical and current, of individuals who belong to sexual minority groups (i.e. people in the LGBTQ community).

Intersectionality page contains information on how gender and sexuality intersects, overlap and combines with other forms of discrimination, such as racism & classism, and how this affects marginalized individuals in particular.

Gender, Sexuality and the Media page contains information on how gender, sex and sexuality are represented (or not represented) in the media and what this means for different cultures.

Transgender, Intersex and Gender Nonconformity page contains information about individuals who psychological perception of themselves does not match their sex assigned at birth, individuals whose physical biology does not fall cleanly into gender binaries or whose behavior or appearance (chosen or otherwise) does not match their sex assigned at birth or fall into social prescribed gender norms.

If you think there is a resource that others would benefit from that is not on this resource guide, by all means email us and let us know about it. We will review the resource and maybe add it to the libguide.


What is Gender Studies?

"This area of interdisciplinary research is concerned with understanding the biological differentiation of male and female, the gender roles that express that differentiation in society and culture, the development and expression of different types of human sexuality, the political representation of gender in feminism, and the modern expression of sexuality such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual identities. Women's studies and gender studies are interdisciplinary fields of contemporary scholarship that are devoted to the study of women and gender in different historical and social contexts. These areas of study stress the gendered nature of social life."

"gender studies." Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology, edited by Bryan S. Turner, Cambridge University Press, 1st edition, 2006. Credo Reference, Accessed 08 Apr. 2019.

Some Definitions

Here is a short list of words and definitions that you may find useful while researching for gender studies. These words can also be used as search terms in the databases below.

Gender- refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity. In other words gender is what your surrounding culture thinks men, women, or non-binary folk should look and act like. It is NOT necessarily what individuals actually look like physically, how they feel emotionally, or how the behave in reality. 

Feminism- A political and social movement advocating equal rights for women and directing a critical eye at patriarchal systems. Approaches to feminism are many and varied, but its history in the West is often discussed in terms of a first wave (the movement for women's suffrage), second wave (the women's liberation movement that gathered pace during the 1960s), and third wave (a phase generally regarded as having begun during the 1980s).

Feminism. (2012). In S. Dent (Ed.), Brewer's dictionary of phrase and fable (19th ed.). London, UK: Chambers Harrap. Retrieved from

Sex-  refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex (i.e., atypical combinations of features that usually distinguish male from female). There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia. 

Gender Identity- refers to one's internal sense of being male, female or other. This internal identity is independent of one's sex or sexual orientation.

Gender expression- how a person expresses their identity through physical appearance, clothing, and behavior. This expression may or may not partially or completely match with someone's sex or gender. 

Transgender- a general term which refers to individuals whose gender identity does not match their assigned biological identity. 

Cisgender- refers to an individual whose gender identity matches their assigned sex at birth.  

Sexual Orientation- refers to the gender(s) an individual is attracted to sexually or romantically. There are a number of subdivisions of orientation, with some of the most commonly known being Heterosexuality, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexuality and Asexuality.

Asexuality- a sexual orientation in which an individual does not experience sexual attraction or has little interest in sexual activity. This sexual orientation does NOT apply to people who cannot have sexual relations due to physical limitations, those that are unable to have sexual relations due to cultural or religious rules or are unwilling to have sexual relations due to personal moral convictions. Rather it a sexual orientation ascribed to those who have little or no desire to have sexual relations with others, regardless of sex or gender. 

Gay- while this can be used as a blanket term to refer to all individuals who are attracted to those of same sex, in the United States it is usually refers to a man who is romantically, emotionally or sexually attracted to other men. 

Lesbian- refers to a woman who is romantically, emotionally or sexually attracted to other women.

Bisexual- a person who is romantically, emotionally or sexually attractioned to both men and women.  

Heterosexuality- A sexual orientation in which an individual is attracted to the opposite gender. It typically refers to men who are attracted to women and women who are attracted to men.

Genderqueer or nonbinary- these are terms used by individuals whose gender identity or expression fall outside of the categories, man or woman. They may define themselves as some mixture of male and female attributes or identify as something completely different from both. This term is not a synonym for transgender or transexual.

Useful Databases

There is no specific database which focuses only on gender studies, however there are a number of databases that you can use to find information on gender, sex, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, parenthood and the intersectionality of race, socioeconomic status, nationality, and other aspects of culture.

Other Useful Media