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Discussion Forum: Gender (In)visibility in U.S. Legislation
The US Capitol Building
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Gendered State, Politics, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Law, Patriarchy, Feminism

How to Cite

Barrett, Anne, and Cherish Michael. 2022. “Discussion Forum: Gender (In)visibility in U.S. Legislation”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, January. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This class activity uses legislation recently considered by the United States Congress to develop students’ ability to conduct gender analyses of social phenomena. Used in a large, online undergraduate course providing an introduction to the sociology of sex and gender, the activity links with the content in a one-week module on gender, power, and...

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Subject Area(s):
Political Sociology, Sex and Gender
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Prior to the discussion, students are directed to complete the assigned reading – Chapter 11, titled “Gender, Power, and Politics,” in Thinking about Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender (11th ed.) by Anderson (2020).  They also are provided with a description of the activity to complete before joining the forum to...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Search the U.S. Congress website to select a relevant bill
  2. Identify the bill’s explicit and implicit gender issues and assumptions
  3. Assess the bill’s likely effect on women, men, and persons of other genders and on gender inequality

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students concisely summarize the bill they selected for gender analysis
  2. Students describe the explicit and implicit gender issues relevant to the bill and identify gendered assumptions embedded in it (e.g., gender as a binary; gender’s effect on behavior, attitudes, or emotions)
  3. Students draw on their knowledge of gender’s influence in various realms of social life (e.g., health, family, paid work) to assess the bill’s likely effect on gender inequality

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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