In this course, we will consider the ways sex and gender have shaped U. S. history from the colonial period until now. Because gender roles and sexuality are socially constructed, they change over time. We will track these shifts. We will spend much of our time investigating the creative ways women have negotiated political, social, and economic constraints imposed by rigid gender roles, but we will also scrutinize the ways men are similarly empowered and limited by expectations to be masculine. We will pay close attention to the diversity of women's experiences, taking into account differences due to race, ethnicity, class, region, age, religion, and sexual orientation. We will consider how sex and gender influence what goes on in public spaces, shaping laws, economic structures, educational objectives, and culture. Then, we'll also peek into the nation's most private spaces, acknowledging that actual behavior does not always follow stated ideals.