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When I went to University, I decided I would choose a major related to the field I eventually want to work in, but I would choose a minor on something that I’m genuinely interested in. And that’s why I chose to minor in Sexual Diversity Studies (SDST). While this minor has different names depending on what University you go to, you can think of it as a cross between LGBTQ studies and Gender or Women’s studies. Topics you may cover can include anything from sexuality in religion and the law, transgenderism and intersex, sexual orientations and their related cultures, theories of gender, and provocative, misunderstood historic and modern sexual practices. Now that I have almost completed my minor, I can say that I definitely wouldn’t choose anything else to minor in. Let me explain the reasons why I chose Sexual Diversity Studies as my minor:

It exposed me to the broad, overarching themes as well as intersectionalities between sex and gender 

Like I mentioned before, the courses you can take in Sexual Diversity Studies include those you would take in either LBGTQ or women’s studies. I initially thought I would minor in women’s studies, as that’s an area that has always been of great interest to me. But when I learned about the SDST minor, I loved that I could learn about this in conjunction with topics pertaining to sexuality. I have taken courses that solely focus on gender issues as well as ones only on topics of sexuality, while some other courses I’ve taken encompass both and divulge into the intersectionalities between sex and gender. An SDST minor definitely exposes you to a broader range of topics and, as you take more courses, you can always narrow that down to a focus that specifically interests you.

There were a variety of different styles of classes I could take.

There was only one required class for my minor that was actually a Sexual Diversities class. The other classes I’ve taken are from multiple different faculties and that means you can choose the style of class you prefer to learn in. I was able to choose from history classes to social works classes to philosophy classes and even Ancient Chinese literature classes- so the possibilities are definitely endless.

I can use the material I learned in minor and apply it to my majors.

Of course this depends on what your major is, but because my double majors (Philosophy and Political Science) are in the Arts Faculty at my University, I have been able to use material from classes for my minor easily and regularly in my core major classes. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have been able to use related topics of sex and gender within one of the (many) essays I have to write for my program. Recently I wrote a philosophy paper for an existentialism class on Simone De Beauvoir’s theory of gender, which I had already learned in two classes for my minor. At the same time I was also writing a political science paper about the gay rights movement and the U.S. Supreme Court, referencing material I had learned in an SDST class. It’s a good feeling when I can reuse material I have already learned and studies and apply it to what I’m currently working on.

I may not have a chance to learn about these important topics otherwise.

I went to a private religious school for all of my pre-University schooling, so I never learned about topics pertaining to SDST in an academic setting before. It would also be rare to learn about such issues through my majors, so I knew an SDST minor would be one of the only ways to learn about this relevant material in an academic environment- Tumblr can only be so helpful. It’s truly enlightening to be able to talk about such controversial and often misunderstood topics in a mature, educationally orientated setting where people are just as curious about these subjects. Specifically nowadays, the topics you learn in SDST are so relevant. Learning about theses things keeps me updated with what’s going on in the world and has also helped me shape my own opinions on and passions for these matters.

Studying Sexual Diversity Studies can help you learn a lot about yourself and others.

My minor has made me question things about myself and the rest of society that I had never thought of- and in a good way! It helps you see things from a new perspective and question what you may have been raised to believe. Having been raised in the certain environment I was, I wanted to learn more about other people it the world and try to understand where they might be coming from. Open mindedness is something I greatly value and want to enhance in myself, and this minor has been the perfect way for me to do so. It helped me to question things about myself that had long bothered me and get answers, all while inspiring me to ask more questions and seek further knowledge and opinions.

Even if you don’t personally fall under the LGBTQ umbrella and feel an SDST minor wouldn’t be of use to you, it can still help you understand those around you better. I have a few close people in my life who fall under the umbrella and learning about topics pertaining to sexuality and gender- even though I sometimes feel that I can’t relate to the topics I’m learning about- helps me be more open minded and understanding towards others’ circumstances. Plus, it helps you to learn to be respectful of everyone else’s opinions- not everyone has the same opinion in SDST!

Because it’s literally the most interesting major you could ever take.

Even had I not made SDST my minor, I know I would have taken many of theses classes purely as electives. Studying for these classes is one of the rare times I don’t mind (that much) about having to write a paper or prepare for a midterm because the material is so interesting. Since I’m genuinely interested in it, it actually makes learning in University setting enjoyable. And if you’re interested in what you’re learning about, it typically shows in your grades!

All in all, this is an amazing minor that I foresee only becoming more popular in the coming years. I love that I am able to use the material I learn in my classes and apply it to the real world and educate people on important issues and subjects they may know nothing about. I encourage you to look up what a Sexual Diversity Minor is called at your University and see if it’s something that would be right for you. Even if you don’t think it will work out as a minor, at least take a course or two related to SDST- it’s worth it, I promise!

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the author

Alexandra is a third year student at McGill University studying Joint Honors Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Sexual Diversity Studies. She is an aspiring writer with publications appearing on The Huffington Post, Her Campus McGill, Elite Daily, The Main, College Fashionista, Unwritten, and, of course, The Prospect. She is a self admitted coffee addict and Netflix Junkie with an unhealthy obsession for plaid shirts. Alexandra is passionate about maintaining perfect hair, solving the problems of consequentialism, and perfecting her sarcasm. In her spare time she enjoys binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, shopping as a sport, and composing blatantly angsty music. When she’s not studying at her infamous corner of the library, you can find Alexandra at whatever concert is happening that night or working on her Pinterest boards. Follow her on Twitter @AlmostAlexandra or instagram @alexandrasakellariou.

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  1. Pingback: Researchers aim to find cure for herpes | Herpes Survival Kit 27 Jan, 2016

    […] commonly manifests as genital herpes as well, Roehm said, because of changing sexual practices …This team is currently working with herpes simplex Type 1, which is often the strain that causes col…es […]

  2. Emmie on February 3, 2016

    this sounds like such a cool minor!

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