Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

WMST 343: *Gender Communication

Back to Top

  Course Description

Examination of the significant role of gender in human communication behaviors as enacted in social spaces of daily life.  Cross-listed as WMST 343. 

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



  • Valenti, Jessica. (2008). He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.Berkely, CA: Seal P.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-58005-245-0]
  • Wood, Julia T. (2015). Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender and Culture (11). Boston: Wadsworth.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-285-07593-8]
  • Required Video: Miss Representation. (2011). Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Perfs. Cory Booker, Margaret Cho, Katie Couric, Geena Davis.Girls’ Club Entertainment: Available at the following link in our online catalog from Stafford Library: http://arthur.searchmobius.org/record=b2170015~S8.  

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

One of the earliest ways in which we come to understand who we are and where we stand within our larger culture is the way(s) in which we are treated based on gender. Even before we enter the world, in utero, parents make decisions to know ‘who’ we are so that they can start the earliest indoctrination and communication of gender. When we are born, hospitals quickly swath us in blue or pink to let the world know ‘who’ we are. This course seeks to explore what happens as we gain our voice and begin to communicate as adults.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To explore how gender and communication interact in culture.
  • To explore how communication reflects, refracts, shapes and revises human understanding of gender.
  • To explore what it means to be gendered beings.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe current research and theories related to gender communication.
  • Critically analyze gender as it relates to race and class in contemporary America.
  • Demonstrate in their oral and written communication critical skills necessary to challenge the realities of inequity and oppression.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 630-700 90-100%
B 560-629 80-89%
C 490-559 70-79%
D 420-489 60-69%
F 0-419 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 160 23%
Gender Sterotype Dossier (1) 140 20%
Application Paper (1) 100 14%
Exams (2) 300 43%
Total 700 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 20 Friday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 20 Friday
Proctor Information N/A Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Friday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 20 Friday
Proctored Midterm Exam 150 Saturday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Friday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Friday
Gender Application Paper 100 Saturday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Friday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 20 Friday
Proctored Final Exam 150 Saturday
Gender and the Media Dossier 140
Total Points: 700

  Assignment Overview

Each student is responsible for

• Completing weekly reading assignments.
• Applying a current news story to Gender Communication.
• Completing weekly discussion questions in the online discussion threads. Always refer to the weekly syllabus guidelines.
• Writing one paper.
• Completing a gender stereotype dossier.
• Completing two exams.

Dropbox Assignments

Gender Application Paper (100 points). Due in the sixth week of the semester, this 3-5 page MLA formatted paper will explore course concepts in further detail. Choosing two terms defined in the textbook, provide an analysis of how these concepts appeared in a conversation you had with someone of the opposite sex. Only documents saved as .doc, .docx, or .pdf are acceptable. Other formats will not be graded. The only required outside source is the textbook. As with all outside sources, proper citation is expected. Plagiarized papers will result in a score of 0 for the assignment and a 15% deduction from the total class grade. Due midnight Saturday of Week 6.

Gender Stereotype Dossier
(140 points). This dossier will use 10 stereotypes discussed in He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and collect 10 examples of the stereotype in current (last six months) media. A compilation of all of the articles, advertisements, etc. will be submitted into the dropbox. All papers must be submitted to the course dropbox. Only documents saved as .doc, .docx, or .pdf are acceptable. Other formats will not be graded. Plagiarized papers will result in a score of 0 for the assignment and a 15% deduction from the total class grade. Due midnight Saturday of Week 8.

Discussion and Participation

(20 points per week, 160 points total). This course is dependent upon the exchange of ideas and experience and peer critique. Therefore, your participation and positive citizenship in this course is fully expected. To receive an average participation grade of 75% a student will regularly contribute to a positive learning environment in class. Each week discussion topics will be posted by 8 a.m. on Monday. Students can receive up to 20 points per week’s discussion topics. One week may have 3 topics to discuss; another week may only have one. Twenty points are available, no matter the number of discussion topics. Although I do have a set number of peer responses that you must give, I do assess the quality of your responses. “I agree,” is perfunctory, not engaging and will not receive full credit.

For the benefit of all of those persons reading responses, keep your personal agendas, attitudes, and grudges in check. This course touches on some very sensitive issues and sometimes responses made in public are simply uncalled for and inappropriate. My hope is that we don’t have those kinds of exchanges this term.


(Midterm and Final, 150 points each). These exams will test knowledge gained from the texts and viewings assigned in class. Both exams are multiple-choice in format, 75 questions worth 2 points each. Both exams will be proctored. Exams are not open for review, meaning that you will not be allowed to look over your exam after you’ve taken it. Do not ask to have it opened especially for you. Exams have a 2 hour time limit with a five minute grace period. For each minute you go over the time limit (120 minutes) you will lose 1% of your exam score. For example, a student who goes 10 minutes past the grace period will lose 10% of their exam score. 

A note about Proctored Exams: No notes or books are allowed while taking proctored exams. Additionally, the use of flashdrives and outside websites is not allowed during proctored exams.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut… (In its entirety)
Discussion 1
In this first week we will begin our discussions by examining double standards that exist between the sexes. How do these double standard reify stereotypes and help buoy continued gender stratification? How can we interact with and fight such stereotypes? Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Chapters 1 and 2  Wood
Discussion 2
In our second week of studying Gender Communication (GC), students will consider how learning about the relationship between gender, communication, and culture impacts a person personally and professionally. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Chapters 3 and 4
Discussion 3
In this week of studying GC, students will begin to understand the way in which our communication shapes society’s views of masculinity and feminity, and men’s and women’s rights and roles in our society. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Chapters 5 and 6
Discussion 4
Students will begin their midterm week of study by identifying the relationships between communication and gender. We will explore how verbal and nonverbal communication reflect cultural understandings of sex and gender Additionally, we’ll reflect on how individuals embody or disavow cultural prescriptions for gender. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Proctored Midterm Exam
The exam will cover Chapters 1-6. Students will have two hours for the exam. The Midterm Exam will be open on Tuesday and must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, of the fourth week.
Chapters 7 and 8
Discussion 5
As we begin the second half of the term, students will focus on how we become gendered human beings. How do biological males and females and intersexuals become feminine and masculine. By focusing on our experiences as infants, children, and adolescents we can better understand the practices that influence who we are as adults. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Chapters 9 and 10
Discussion 6
Students will be able to identify the impact gender dynamics have on interpersonal and organizational relationships. Initially, we’ll begin by considering masculine and femine ways of experiencing and expressing closeness. What are the gendered patterns that appear in friendships and romantic relationships? We will finish this section by exploring the gender dynamics in the workplace—from stereotypes to discrimination. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Gender Application Paper
Due by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Chapter 11
Miss Representation
Discussion 7
As we near the end of the term, students will explore how media shape our understandings of gender and how gender shapes our use of media. We begin by documenting the media-saturated zeitgeist we live in and move on to explore how women and men use media. Likewise students will study how media affect our views and expectations of women and men. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Chapter 12 and Epilogue
Discussion 8
As we near the end of the term, we will address the nature and extent of gendered violence and identify the social structures, practices, and attitudes that cultivate and condone it. Students will examine how they can participate in reducing gender violence. Specific discussion topics will be posted by Sunday. Discussion responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
Proctored Final Exam
The exam will cover Chapters 7-12 and the required viewings. Students will have two hours for the exam. The Final Exam will be open on Tuesday and must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, of the eighth week.
Gender and the Media Dossier
Due by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late assignments will be accepted without extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student and with instructor notification prior to the due date (Columbia College Catalog). Late postings (even one hour late) will be given a grade of zero. In regards to exams, if you miss an exam, you miss an exam and will also receive a grade of zero. I have heard a variety of excuses, particularly on exams. Please do not expect special treatment when you ‘just forgot’ or ‘fell asleep because of some medicine,’ or suffer from any other host of mishaps.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.