After reading the articles this week, pick ONE article to focus on in your paper. Pick two questions from the list under the article you chose and discuss. Also use another

After reading the articles this week, pick ONE article to focus on in your paper. Pick two questions from the list under the article you chose and discuss. Also use another article from this week as a reference in your paper. Your paper should be no more than two-pages. This paper MUST be uploaded to blackboard as a WORD document. You will need to do outside research for this assignment. Please makes sure and state which article you are using in your introduction.


You will need three sources for this paper: 1) The initial article you pick, 2) The second article you want to use, and 3) an outside source (Internet, article, etc.). I have included some websites to check out at the end of this document.



Carolyn Herbst Lewis, “Waking Sleeping Beauty: ThePremarital Pelvic Exam and Heterosexuality during the Cold War”


1. What was involved in the 1950s and ‘60s premarital pelvic exam? Why did doctors view these exams as necessary to “save” the nation, and why do you think this exam fell out of favor in medical practice after this time period?

2. Why did doctors believe that pelvic exams were necessary? What are some of the ways in which this exam is problematic (ex.: violating women’s bodily autonomy, presumption of heterosexuality, viewing clitoral orgasm as deviant)?

3. What was the definition of frigidity according to physicians in the 1950’s and ‘60s? How does this definition reinforce sexism?

4. What does the doctors’ behavior towards their female patients of color reveal about racist attitudes toward people of color, specifically women of color, during this era?



Laurie Essig and Lynn Owens, “What if Marriage Is Bad For Us?”


1. How is the (Western) institution of marriage different today than it has been historically? What are some of the changes that have occurred in how we think about marriage?

2. Do you agree with Essig and Owens’ reasons for rejecting marriage? Are some reasons more or less compelling than others? Explain.

3. In what ways does access to marriage aid same-sex couples? Why might same-sex couples have an emotional and political investment in marriage?

4. Do you think that marriage inherently supports the status quo? How might same-sex spouses (and parents) challenge traditional assumptions about what marriage and family means, particularly in terms of gendered roles for husbands versus wives?

5. If you are or have been married, what do you think of Essig and Owens’ analysis of marriage? If you are not currently married, do you see yourself wanting to get married in the future? Why or why not?



Kathleen Gerson, “Moral Dilemmas, Moral Strategies, and the Transformation of Gender: Lessons from Two Generations of Work and Family Change”


  1. What is the moral dilemma facing men and women according to Gerson? How have things changed regarding this dilemma?
  2. How do young people feel about their mothers having worked or stay home? Why might the children of working mothers be happier with the idea of the working mother? Why did some whose mothers stayed home wish their mothers had worked?
  3. According to Gerson, what do young people hope for when arranging their own families? What might get in the way of these egalitarian dreams?
  4. How do men and women differ in the way they intend to handle the demands of work and family? What does Gerson suggest can be done to make this easier?


Hung Cam Thai, “For Better or Worse: Gender Allures in the Vietnamese Global Marriage Market”


  1. Why are Minh and Thanh unable to find spouses in their home countries? How is the idea of respect linked to Minh and Thanh’s decision to marry a person so far away?
  2. What are the social structural reasons why people like Minh and Thanh decide to participate in marriage migration? What are the demographic reasons?
  3. How are Minh and Thanh’s gender ideologies likely to clash when they are married? What do you think will happen to couples like this?




Here are some websites to check out.

Alternatives to Marriage Project

Asian Americans and Interracial Dating and Marriage


Feminist Perspectives on Reproduction and the Family

Human Rights Campaign (HRC): Marriage and Relationship Recognition


Equally Wed


Juggling Work and Family


Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: Gay Marriage


Sex Education in America

Assignments must be typed, NO MORE THAN two double-spaced pages. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1-inch margins on all sides. In the upper left hand corner of the page type your full name HW #, and due date. All written assignments must be cited (examples below).

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