Gender & Sexuality Studies

Gender and sexuality shape virtually every aspect of our social relations and contribute fundamentally to our sense of self. Dominant understandings of gender and sexuality norms are woven through society and resisting those norms, or reshaping those understandings, contributes to social change. Gender and Sexuality Studies, which is available as a minor, is an interdisciplinary field of study. Papers focus on a wide range of topics including media representations of gender and sexuality, medical constructions of the body, identities and inequalities, intersectionality and critical race studies.

Study Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies at Waikato offers specialised knowledge of gender relations and social change in relation to the media, health, paid and unpaid work, education, sexuality, social policy and the law.

Adding this subject to your degree will enable you to develop critical thinking skills, and prepare you to respond effectively to a wide range of social justice issues. Students who enjoy social sciences or humanities will find the subject a stimulating addition to their degree, either as a minor or a supporting subject.

Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary subject. It goes particularly well with sociology, social policy, anthropology, education, geography, history, health, law and psychology.


Career opportunities

Employment opportunities for graduates with a good understanding in this area are within advocacy groups, government agencies, human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations and social services agencies. Roles you might take up include:

  • Coordinator of Health Services
  • Equal Employment Officer
  • Gender Consultant
  • Gender Development Project Coordinator
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Lecturer
  • NGOs
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Relations Director
  • Teacher


Alex Willix-Payne

Bachelor of Arts

"I really enjoyed my gender and sexuality studies course to expand my knowledge in an area I’m deeply passionate about."

What were some of the highlights for you while studying? Have there been achievements or experiences throughout your studies that stood out for you? (E.g. scholarships, awards, student exchanges, travel opportunities?).

I really enjoyed my gender and sexuality studies course to expand my knowledge in an area I’m deeply passionate about. It was really useful in sparking ideas for my queer themed radio show I started in the same year.

What did you / are you really enjoying about your study?

I’m really enjoying the flexibility of a BA to let me try different subjects I’m interested in so getting to do anthropology and screenwriting as well as gender and sexuality studies has been amazing. The lecturers and tutors have been so lovely and helpful and its been awesome to expand my horizons to so many different ways of being.

If you’re still studying, when you finish your study what is the plan? How do you want to use what you have learnt for the next stage in your life?

I know that whatever I do I want to work with and for the Queer community. As a queer person myself I know the struggles from the inside and want to do my best to help. My way of doing that will most likely be through doing either the community or clinical psychology program here at Waikato with my research focus during that process being around non-normative relationships.

If you’re still studying, what is the most important/valuable thing you’ve learnt so far?

Make sure your formatting is 100% spot on because you Will be marked down if it’s wrong.

What advice would you give to someone from home or another prospective student, wanting to follow the same study path as you?

Make sure you’re citing things correctly but also follow what you want to do because I’ve seen so many of my friends start uni doing what others want them to do only to switch to what they actually want to do and they are so much happier for it.

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