How are boys and men supposed to look and feel and act? What about girls and women? What family forms are “natural”? What kinds of desire deserve respect? Across history, almost every society has insisted that certain structures of gender and sexuality are natural and proper—but historical study shows that, on the contrary, there are an enormous range of ways that gender, sexuality, intimacy, and kinship can be structured and experienced.
Historians at Pitt have studied the changing politics and practice of gender and sexuality in the modern world, in places ranging from Bolivia to Barbados to Bucharest to Pittsburgh.