1 Introduction to class, and requirements  
2 Topic choice and vote  
3 Affirmative action at MIT

Briscoe, Brandon. “After 150 Years, MIT Is Heading In The Wrong Direction With Affirmative Action,” The Tech, February 17, 2012.

Responses to “After 150 Years, MIT Is Heading In The Wrong Direction With Affirmative Action.”

Background and Other Information

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s friend of the court brief on behalf of the Black Student Alliance at UT Austin.

Blogs regarding Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin.

Haney-Lopez, Ian. “In Fisher v. Texas, Look at the Politics,” New York Times, February 23, 2012.

4 Religion and sexuality Oppenheimer, Mark. “A Counselor’s Convictions Put Her Profession on Trial,” New York Times, February 3, 2012.
5 Relationship between MIT and Wellesley students

Cathy, B. “Wellesley Women—Maybe Not Perfect, But Awesome!”,, December 28, 2000.

Dixit, Jay. “The Highly-Charged Erotic Life Of The Wellesley Girl,”, 2001.

6 Evolution and creationism

Evolution vs. Creation—A Contentious Debate,”

7 De-Criminalization of prostitution

Top 10 Pros And Cons: Should Prostitution Be Legal?”,, May 6, 2009.

Economist Debates: Prostitution—This House Believes That Prostitution Should Be Legal.” The Economist, September 6, 2010.

Levitt, Steven D., and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh. “An Empirical Analysis Of Street-Level Prostitution.” University Of Chicago, 2007. (PDF - 2.0MB)

Prostitution In The United States—The Statistics,” Prostitutes’ Education Network.

8 Islamophobia

Islamophobia and the 2012 Presidential Race,”, March 29, 2012.

Goldberg, Jonah. “Islamophobia? Not Really,” Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2010.

Esposito, John L., and Sheila B. Lalwani. “The Reality Of Islamophobia In America,” Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2010.

9 Sexuality

Park, Madison. “Transgender Kids: Painful Quest To Be Who They Are,”, September 27, 2011.

CNN Wire Staff. “Report: Gay Rights Activists Arrested In Russia,”, April 7, 2012.

Jefferson, Cord. “Is Pedophilia A Sexual Orientation? A Psychologist Breaks Down What Makes A Jerry Sandusky,”, November 22, 2011.

Ex-gay movement website

10 Perceptions of beauty

Poran, Maya A. “Denying Diversity: Perceptions of Beauty and Social Comparison Processes Among Latina, Black, and White Women.” Sex Roles 47, nos. 1–2 (2002): 65–81.

Etcoff, Nancy. Excerpt from Survival Of The Prettiest: The Science Of Beauty. Anchor Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780385479424.

Dreisbach, Shaun. “Retouching: How Much Is Too Much?Glamour, March 2012.

11 The upcoming U.S. election

U.S. Election 2012: Republican Candidates,”, January 3, 2012.

Poe, Catherine. “Seven Reasons President Obama Could Lose The Election To Mitt Romney,”, April 23, 2012.

Ogden, Paul K. “Why Barack Obama Will Win Re-Election Against Likely GOP Nominee Mitt Romney,”, February 6, 2012.

PolitiFact: Tracking Politicians’ Promises,”

2012 Presidential Candidate Positions On 55 Issues: A Side By Side Comparison,”

12 The meaning of life

Bendig, Patrice. “Life After College—My Crash Course into Adulthood at 22,” Huffington Post, April 23, 2012.

Gray, Keturah. “Quarterlife Crisis Hits Many in Late 20s,”, April 21, 2005.

What is Happiness?,” “This Emotional Life” topics,

Boyles, Salynn. “For Happiness, Seek Family, Not Fortune,”, June 19, 2008.

13 U.S. health care reform

Emanuel, Ezekiel J. “What We Give Up for Health Care,” New York Times, January 21, 2012.

Condon, Stephanie. “Obama Teams Celebrates Anniversary Of Romney’s Health Care Law,”, April 12, 2012.

Liptak, Adam. “In Court, Sharp Questions on Health Care Law’s Mandate,” New York Times, March 27, 2012.

14 Euthanasia, evaluate class, and open discussion

Lopez, Steve. “When Death Is Certain, But Dignity Is Not,” Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2011.

Magnier, Mark. “India’s Supreme Court Lays Out Euthanasia Guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2011.

Cancer Victim Chantal Sebire Found Dead At Home,” The Daily Telegraph, March 20, 2008.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Problem Sets