Sex Roles in Business and Society

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The course presents an understanding of how organizational role expectations interact with sex role expectations.  The primary objective of the course is to help both male and female students develop greater understanding and respect for each other as professional colleagues and as valuable members of society.


CAVEAT: No graduate credit will be awarded if HBD4721 has been successfully completed.



  • Distinguishing among the definitions of sex, sex roles, and gender identity.
  • Identifying sex roles that are common within the contemporary Western cultures.
  • Explaining the impact of social institutions such as the family, church, school, and state upon changing sex roles.
  • Analyzing contemporary issues for working women and men in our society.
  • Articulating the process of identity development with emphasis upon sex role expectations at each phase of the life span.
  • Identifying and differentiating the communication strategies and messages for males and females.
  • Articulating an understanding of the legal and social definitions of sexual harassment; the two forms of harassment recognized by the EEOC, and the four types of sexual harassment.
  • Comparing and contrasting the meaning of work to both sexes and exploring its relevance to changing demographics among the work force.
  • Describing the learned helplessness paradigm as it influences choices of American men and women.
  • Analyzing the impact of stress on working men and women.
  • Analyzing the concept of androgyny in terms of building a personal management style.
  • Discussing the choices available to men and women in choosing an occupation.
  • Explaining gender differences in job search behavior.
  • Discussing the role of organizational culture in dealing with issues of sexual harassment and organizational romance.
  • Discussing the problems and solutions of mixed sex teams.
  • Summarizing the steps that companies should take in creating a policy on harassment.
  • Outlining the pay issues and non-pay issues of the sex discrimination laws.
  • Describing the origins of stereotyping.

Course Syllabi