Women’s Reproductive Rights (psychology of gender course)
Although this course specifically focuses on the nature of gender relations in Canada, all of our discussions are part of a broader global context. This assignment gives you the opportunity to write about an emerging (or ongoing) gender-related issue. I’ve provided a list of possible topics below but if they are only suggestions. If you feel strongly about another topic, you can run it by me for approval.
The assignment should be approximately 8-10 double-spaced pages in length, not including your title page and references. This may seem like a lot, but these are big issues and once you get started, you’ll quickly realize how much there is to write about. This is a RESEARCH paper so I have to stress the importance of selecting high quality references. You must use at least 5 peer reviewed journal articles in your paper. If you have any questions about whether a source is peer-reviewed or how to find such articles, you can email me or ask me in class.
In writing your paper, I want you to keep in mind the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why? That sounds simplistic and I certainly don’t want you to structure your paper with those as headings, but I feel that they offer a rough guideline to help you set up your paper. You need to research the issue itself so that you know about the historical origins of it, how long it has been happening, who is most deeply affected by it and the impact of this issue on their lives. Although these are global issues, you can certainly highlight ‘trouble zones’ where the issue is of heightened importance or has received more attention in the media. Answering the question of why the issue is occurring will not be easy. In fact, it’s unlikely that any of these issues will be boiled down to one clear cause. Discuss multiple perspectives on why the issue is occurring and also what the response has been to the issue (e.g., by the communities most deeply affected, by police, by the media, etc).
TOPIC CHOSEN: WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
In Canada, women have the legal right to birth control, high quality reproductive healthcare, and to have an abortion. However, in many other countries these rights are not extended to women or are restricted and stigmatized. For example, in many countries women die when delivering babies because they receive inadequate or no medical care. Others are subjected to female genital mutilation. Most lack even a basic education about their bodies and how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Why does this continue to be the case and what can be done to change it?
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