Course Syllabus

Counseling 20: Sex & Gender
Section 4627

The PDF version of syllabus

Instructor Contact

Instructor/Counselor: Sara Malmquist-West


Office Hours: by appointment

Hello and welcome to Counseling 20: Sex & Gender! I am excited that you have chosen to take this course! This document contains important information about what you can expect from this course and what I expect from you as students.

The best way to contact me is through Canvas inbox or email me at I will respond to emails within 24 hours Monday-Thursday. I will try to check my emails occasionally over the weekend but cannot guarantee that I will get back to you promptly, so please make sure to review the course material before the weekend to make sure you do not have any immediate questions. Please include your name, student ID number and the course title (COUN 20) in your email.

Course Description

This course is an exploration of gender and sexual identity in U.S culture, and includes gender and sexual discrimination and harassment. The relationship between gender and sex and other aspects of our personal and social identities, such as race/ethnicity, age, physical disabilities will be examined.  Cross-cultural comparisons of non-Western societies' views of sex and gender identities will be explored. For complete course outline information, go to: Counseling 20: Sex & Gender

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and distinguish the concepts of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation.
  2. Differentiate between one's social and personal identities.
  3. Describe identity development theories.
  4. Recognize Non-Western views of sex and gender identity.
  5. Identify and examine sex and gender stereotypes in society.
  6. Define and describe systems of power and privilege in U.S. society.
  7. Define sexual discrimination including sexual harassment and sexism.


  • Gendered Worlds by Judy Root Aulette, Judith Wittner, & Kristen Barber (4th edition, 2020)
  • Make sure you use the 4th addition of the textbook, as there have been significant changes from the third addition!
  • Additional readings (such as handouts or online resources) will be posted on Canvas

Course Structure & Web Site

  • Students will use the Canvas course web site for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, viewing classmate's work, sharing resources, and viewing grades.
  • This is an Asynchronous course which means there are no live Zoom sessions. You are expected to log into Canvas and complete all the week’s activities by Sunday at 11:59 PM.

Participation/Drop Policy

  • Participation is extremely important. Because this is an online class, your “attendance” will be measures based upon your participation in the discussions, participation questions, and the timely submission of your assignments. You are required to log into Canvas at minimum once per week. If you do not log in weekly, you will lose points and can possibly be dropped from the course.
  • If you have not logged into Canvas and completed the Week 1: Syllabus Quiz by Sunday, January 22nd at 11:59 PM, you will be dropped from the course.

Important Dates

Day Class Begins: Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Day Class Ends: Friday, May 19th, 2023

Final Exam Due: Friday, May 26th, 2023

Last Day to Drop and be eligible for refund: Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Last Day to Drop without a 'W' symbol: Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Last Day to opt for Pass/No Pass: Friday, May 19th, 2023

Last Day to Drop with a 'W' symbol: Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

If you have further questions, call the Office of Admissions & Records in Plover Hall at (707) 527-4685.

Grading Policy

Visit the “Grades” in Canvas to keep track of your grades. I grade once a week and post grades and comments on the online Canvas gradebook.

Grading Scale                                   Final Grade

90%-100%                                         A

80%-89%                                           B

70%-79%                                           C

60%-69%                                           D

59% and below                                  F

Assignment Guidelines & Breakdown


Assignment Breakdown


Due Date

Points Possible

Weekly Quizzes

Sunday at 11:59 PM

150 Points (10 points x 15)

Weekly Discussions

Sunday at 11:59 PM

150 Points (15 points x 10)

Participation Questions

Sunday at 11:59 PM

100 Points (10 points x 10)

Reflection Papers

3/5 & 4/2

150 Points (75 points x 2)


4/9 & 5/7

150 Points (75 points x 2)

Research Paper


200 Points

Final Presentation

Friday 5/26

100 Points



1000 Points

All assignments are due no later than 11:59 PM on the date listed. Typed assignments need to be completed with a 12-point font, one-inch margins, and double spaced. Directions for completing assignments will be given throughout the semester and listed in your Canvas course. Please save your documents as Microsoft Word or PDF attachments. For MAC users, save as PDF not PAGES files. You can do this for free through google docs.

Discussion Posts: This is part of your participation in the class and is vital component of your grade. Due to the nature of being enrolled in an online course, you will be required to participate in discussion forums where you will post answers and respond to your peers. It is expected that responses will be respectful of each other. In addition, if a side-discussion develops, please continue it in a separate venue so the class does not become side-tracked.

Participation Assignments: In lieu of the participation activities such as group projects and journaling that we would do in a face-to-face classroom, I will ask you to do various assignments each week to demonstrate that you are engaging with the material. There will be the opportunity for one extra credit participation assignment.

Weekly Quizzes: You will have weekly quizzes on the material presented in the video lectures and readings from the textbook. 

Reflections Papers: You will be asked to write 2-3-page reflection papers throughout the course on various topics from class. Detailed instructions will be provided.

Midterms: You will have two midterm exams on the material presented in the course.

Research Paper: You will be asked to write a 5-page research paper. Detailed instructions will be provided.

Research Presentation: For this assignment you will present the findings of your research paper to the class by writing a summary or recording a video of what you learned.

Late Policy

All assignments are due at 11:59 PM on the due date. A late submission will receive a minimum 20% penalty if it is turned in the following week. Anything after one week will not be accepted. HOWEVER, I can be flexible with due dates! If you have trouble meeting the deadlines, contact the instructor at I understand that many of you are facing unique challenges due life (COVID-19, family responsibilities, work, etc.), so please contact me if you need additional support or are having trouble meeting deadlines. NO LATE FINALS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Online Technical Expertise

This course is 100% online. As a result, you will be required to:

  • Navigate the Canvas course environment
  • Use the Internet
  • Participate in online discussion forums
  • Utilize basic word processing, such as MS Word or Google Docs (free)
    • If you use a MAC, please become familiar with Google Docs so that you can turn your .pages documents into PDF.  I cannot accept .pages documents.

If you are not comfortable or do not have much experience in the online environment, you may wish to consider taking CSKLS 334 (Taking an Online Class, .5 unit) before taking any online class. However, this is not required for this course and detailed instructions on how to proceed with this course are provided at the beginning in the section titled "Getting Started.”

Undocumented Student Support

I am an unapologetic and unafraid trained ally to undocumented students and their families. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have questions or concerns about your status or would like guidance towards resources to ensure you success.

Technical Support

If you need help in navigating the material of this course or if you have any technical issues, please first contact the instructor (me) at If you are having a technical issue that I cannot resolve I will refer you to tech support. If you'd like to go directly to student tech support, go to: Distance Education SRJC

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

It is the mission of the Santa Rosa Junior College to support inclusive learning environments. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement—such as time-limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos—please notify the instructor as soon as possible. Students are also welcome to contact the Disability Resources Department (DRD). DRD is a resource for students that provides authorization for academic accommodations, training and access to assistive technology, and collaborates on strategies for academic success.

Standards of Conduct

Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. See the Student Code of Conduct. Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. Students are encouraged to share information and ideas, but not their work.

SRJC's statement on Academic Integrity.

Other Important Policies and Practices

Avoid Plagiarism Like the, er, Plague

Although most students have likely heard about plagiarism during their years of schooling, it still is prevalent-even in higher education.

The video below reviews what plagiarism is and how not to do it.

Plagiarism: How to avoid it (Links to an external site.)Plagiarism:  How to avoid it

Netiquette, or Why Is It Harder to Be Polite Online?

Netiquette refers to using common courtesy in online communication. All members of the class are expected to follow netiquette in all course communications. Use these guidelines:

  • Use capital letters sparingly. THEY LOOK LIKE SHOUTING.
  • Forward emails only with a writer's permission.
  • Be considerate of others' feelings and use language carefully.
  • Cite all quotations, references, and sources (otherwise, it is plagiarism).
  • Use humor carefully. It is hard to "read" tone; sometimes humor can be misread as criticism or personal attack. Feel free to use emoticons like :) for a smiley face to let others know you are being humorous.
  • Use complete sentences and standard English grammar to compose posts. Write in proper paragraphs. Review work before submitting it.
  • Text speak, such as "ur" for "your" or "ru" for "are you" etc., is only acceptable when texting.

Contact the Counseling office at (707) 527-4451 (Santa Rosa) or (707) 778-3914 anytime if you have further questions.


Spring 2023 Course Schedule (Subject to change)

Course Schedule 2023





Week 1:


Welcome & Introductions


-Article: “Why Pronouns Matter”

Weekly Quiz (1)

Discussion Post (1)

Participation Q (1)

Unit 1: Important Concepts  

Week 2:


Power, Privilege & Intersectionality


-Chapter 1 (textbook)


Weekly Quiz (2)

Discussion Post (2)

Participation Q (2)

Week 3:



Bodies & Gender

-Chapter 2 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (3)

Discussion Post (3)

Participation Q (3)

Week 4:


Gender Identity

-Handout: “Coming Out: Living Authentically as Transgender or Non-binary”

-Handout: LGBTQIA+ Handout

Weekly Quiz (4)

Discussion Post (4)

Participation Q (4)

Week 5:


Sexual Orientation

-Chapter 3 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (5)

Discussion Post (5)

Participation Q (5)

Week 6:


Gender Theory

-Chapter 4 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (6)

Discussion Post (6)

Unit 2: Agents of Socialization

Week 7:




-Chapter 7 (textbook)


Weekly Quiz (7)

Participation Q (6)

Reflection #1 Due 3/5

Week 8:


Popular Culture & the Media

-Chapter 11 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (8)

Discussion Post (7)

Participation Q (7)

Week 9:


Body Image & Beauty


Weekly Quiz (9)

Discussion Post (8)

Participation Q (8)

Week 10:



No class!



Week 11:




-Chapter 5 (textbook)


Weekly Quiz (10)

Participation Q (9)

Reflection #2 Due

Week 12:


Library Visit


Midterm Exam #1 Due


Unit 3: Gender & the World of Work

Week 13:


Gender & the Global Economy

-Chapter 6 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (11)

Participation Q (10)

Discussion Post (9)

Week 14:


Violence, Harassment & Discrimination

-Chapter 8 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (12)

Discussion Post (10)

WHM Extra Credit Due 4/23

Week 15:


Politics, Policy & Activism

-Chapter 10 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (13)

Discussion Post (extra credit)

Week 16:


Mental Health:

Counseling Career Panel


Midterm #2 Due 5/7


Week 17:

5/8 – 5/14

Physical Health

-Chapter 9 (textbook)

Weekly Quiz (14) Participation Q (extra credit)

Unit 4: Wrap-Up & Next Steps


Week 18:


Wrap-up & Next Steps


Weekly Quiz (15)

Research Paper Due 5/21



Final: Research Presentation & Responses


Research Presentation Due FRIDAY 5/26