It is no mystery that men and women are biologically and behaviorally different, but the way these differences impact mental health has often gone unrecognized. Sex and gender have both been increasingly identified as significant factors in disease prevalence, expression of symptoms, and responses to treatment. As such, it is critical that we understand the influence of sex differences and the consequences of adopting a "one size fits all" approach to health care. Unfortunately, this understanding has historically been difficult, if not impossible, to achieve because most of the knowledge we have in this area is based on research conducted exclusively in males. This disproportionate focus on male data is slowly beginning to change, but there are still those who doubt whether the presence/impact of sex differences is significant enough to warrant further investigation. In this course, we explore this debate, focusing on the neurobiology, methodology, significant findings, and future implications of research on sex differences.
This course is designed to provide an overview of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) from a global perspective with a focus on the most disadvantaged populations. The course will cover the most critical topics and dimensions in this field, i.e. historic, conceptual, research, methodological, policy, programmatic, rights, and advocacy. The themes will include the role of the global community in shaping the SRH agenda, sexual and reproductive rights, maternal health measurement and quality of care, unsafe abortion, contraception, adolescents’ SRH, women’s health along the life course and integration of reproductive healthcare. Gender, social inequalities and rights will be underpinning dimensions along the entire course. Students will be introduced to the core SRH literature and learn about the outstanding debates, acute knowledge gaps, effective evidence-based interventions, progress, current challenges and the most promising public health approaches to overcome them. This course will be fully participatory. Students are expected to reflect on readings, lead discussions, prepare group or individual case studies and prepare assigned homework. ... Read more about Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Global Perspective
This course will focus on the social and biological processes and relationships from interpersonal to institutional involved in embodying gender, as part of shaping and changing societal distributions of, including inequities in, health, disease, and well-being. It will consider how different frameworks of conceptualizing and addressing gender, biological sex, and sexuality (that is, the lived experience of being sexual beings, in relation to self, other people, and institutions) shape questions people ask about and explanations and interventions they offer for a variety of health outcomes. Examples span the lifecourse and historical generations and include chronic non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, occupational injuries, reproductive health, mental health, and mortality, each analyzed in relation to societal and ecological context, global health policy and human rights, work, and the behaviors of people and institutions. In all these cases, issues of gender and sexuality will be related to other societal determinants of health, including social class, racism, and other forms of inequality. The objective is to improve praxis for research, teaching, policy, and action, so as to advance knowledge and action needed for producing sound public health policy and health equity, including in relation to gender and sexuality. ... Read more about Embodying Gender: Public Health, Biology and the Body Politic
This course explores issues relevant to mental illness, mental health from a gender perspective. Course themes include illness constructs, life cycle and transitions, collective and individual trauma, role and relationship and embodiment. Topics include eating disorders, pain, hormonally mediated mood disorders, and PTSD. Examples highlight US and international experience. Readings are multidisciplinary, including public health and medicine, social sciences, history and literature. ... Read more about Women, Gender and Health: Critical Issues in Mental Health
This course will introduce students to gender as a theoretical concept and a category of analysis in public health—specifically, the ways in which gender contributes to differentially structuring women and men's experiences of health. The course proposes to answer such questions as: How can understanding gender structures help us interpret public health research? How has gender influenced the construction of public health in diverse societies? How do our social frameworks and structures, such as gender, affect people's experiences and expectations of health? How is the success of behavioral change interventions and the validity of basic behavioral and evaluation research affected by gender? This course emphasizes the epidemiological aspects of gender analysis and the interactions among gender, class, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. The course will cover a broad range of health issues for which gender has been of special importance. Topics covered include: biology, chronic disease, mortality and morbidity, contraceptives, infertility, endometriosis, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, body image, masculinity, weight and shape control behaviors, abortion, and global reproductive health. Additionally, sessions will include global, U.S. domestic, and historical perspectives, with attention primarily paid to the epidemiologic investigation as well as the social and behavioral sciences and health policy dimensions.... Read more about Gender and Health: Introductory Perspectives
Our perceptions of gender—our own and others’—powerfully shape our embodied experiences and behaviors. This course examines the embodiment of gender via the lens of psychological science. We will begin by exploring recent research related to gender and the body, and then study the underlying psychological mechanisms that influence our self-perceptions about gender. Our disciplinary foundation in psychological science will allow us to complicate current understandings of gender and embodiment by considering factors such as sex, race, sexuality, experience, intention, and awareness.
In its attention to gender, race, and sexuality, feminist bioethics challenges and expands contemporary bioethical theory and practice. Drawing from philosophy, theology, law, medicine, public health, and the social and biological sciences, this interdisciplinary field is both critical and constructive in addressing bioethical theory, method, and substantive ethical concerns across the clinical, research, organizational, public policy, and global spheres. In a largely seminar format, we will review the theoretical landscape and social movements that prompted the emergence of feminist...
Animals exhibit many innate, sex-specific behaviors that provide useful models to study the underlying neural circuits, and sex differences in the nervous system also have important implications for human health. Through discussions, activities, and lectures, this course introduces students to various aspects of sexually dimorphic neural circuits across model organisms, while emphasizing critical thinking and effective science communication.... Read more about Sex and the Brain
In this course, we will explore how the family impacts psychopathology, including relapse, recovery, and resilience, for a member with a mental disorder. We will examine the relationship between the family and mental health conditions like anxiety, autism, depression, personality disorders, and schizophrenia from a life course and a family systems perspective.... Read more about Psychopathology and the Family
The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive overview of DSM-5 feeding and eating disorders (EDs) with a primary focus on anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. We will explore the etiology (i.e., biological and environmental factors), symptom presentation, and empirically supported treatments across these EDs. Additional topics will include cultural considerations, gender and EDs, medical complications, impact of media/social media, and novel directions and treatments for these disorders.... Read more about Eating Disorders
This course provides an introduction to the breadth of research and research methods in the study of sexuality and sexual health promotion in diverse contexts and populations. Students will develop skills needed to carry out epidemiologic research and community-based interventions related to sexual health promotion.... Read more about Sexuality and Public Health
An introduction to the interaction between hormones and behavior, emphasizing research in humans. General principles of endocrine physiology are presented. The course then focuses on how hormones affect the brain and body in early development and later in adulthood, and the relationship of hormones to sex and gender.... Read more about Hormones and Behavior
This course is an in-depth exploration of close relationships. Examples of topics to be covered include the biological bases of attraction; relationship formation; the end of relationships through break-up, divorce, or death; relationship satisfaction; deception; gender roles; same-sex relationships; loneliness; relationships and well-being; and public perceptions about relationships.... Read more about Psychology of Close Relationships