Discuss in detail the multidisciplinary nature of gender studies


CSS Solved Gender Studies Past Paper | Discuss in detail the multidisciplinary nature of gender studies.

The following question of Gender Studies is attempted on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question Breakdown:

The examiner wants to know about the multidisciplinary nature of gender studies as a subject. It mainly focuses on which other subjects are interlinked with gender studies and how these subjects shed light on women-related issues in one way or another. Many subjects, especially social sciences subjects – Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science, Social Work, Economics, Literature, Law, and Communication – discuss women-related problems through a gendered lens as described in the solution to this question.


1- Introduction

2- Gender studies as multidisciplinary

  • ✓Defining multidisciplinary and gender studies

3-Gender studies and its relation to other disciplines

  • ✓ Sociology and Gender Studies
    • Demands Addresses women-related issues faced in a patriarchal society
  • ✓ Anthropology and Gender Studies
    • Concerned with human behaviour, biology, culture and societies in both past and present about masculinity and femininity
  • ✓ Psychology and Gender Studies
    • Demands Deals with psychology and social impact of sex differences, roles and the development of gender identity on behaviour
  • ✓ Economics and gender studies
    • Talks about economic inequality faced by women
  • ✓ Political science and gender studies
    • Demands equal political protection and rights for women
  • ✓ Social work and gender studies
    • Discusses issues like slavery, violence and trafficking from a gender perspective
  • ✓Literature and gender studies
    • Discusses women in literature and addresses societal problems faced by women
  • ✓ Law and gender studies
    • Talks about the strict implementation of women’s protection laws
  • ✓ Communication studies and gender studies
    • Talks about the way we talk about people, the words we use, especially for women

4- Conclusion

Answer to the Question


Gender studies is an interdisciplinary field and cover a broad range of topics dealing specifically with women and patriarchal society. It also deals with the feminist waves and theories experienced by women. This important discipline offers the chance to learn about historical and contemporary feminist movements, and about the forces both gender and ethnicity/race currently exert in society. Although gender studies apparently look like a subject totally devoted to women’s rights and feminist studies, its multidisciplinary nature extends to other fields as well. Gender studies is an extensive subject catering to social, political, public, private, biological, and cultural issues of women. An understanding of the social, cultural, and biological setup of gender in our society creates a lot of space for gender studies to integrate with other disciplines. Since gender studies talks about differences between individuals based on their social upbringing, genetic background as well as psychological inclinations, therefore, it is prominently interrelated to disciplines such as literature, law, political science, sociology, psychology etc.

Gender studies as multidisciplinary

Before exploring the multidisciplinary nature of gender studies, it is imperative to understand the meaning of something which is multidisciplinary. Thus, it is defined as:

“The process in which researchers work independently yet at the same time, from a different disciplinary perspective to address a common problem”

Historically, the roots of gender studies can be seen attached to social sciences. Thus, gender studies is multi-disciplinary in nature as it is interlinked with the following disciplines and widens the scope of understanding gender studies.

  • Sociology and Gender studies

Sociology is the study of society and social interaction. It also studies social culture, relationships and institutions. Gender studies, the parent subject, also deals with women-related culture and the role of society in shaping the choices and decisions of women. The sociology of gender examines how society influences the social construction of gender as well as the difference between masculinity and femininity.
For instance, women are considered intellectually and physically weak as compared to men. This socially constructed perception of gender, therefore, impedes the decision-making roles of women.

  • Anthropology and Gender studies

Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behaviour, biology, cultures, and societies in both past and present. Gender studies are the branch of cultural anthropology that deals with cultural norms that dictate the lives of people belonging to the masculine and feminine gender. The gender norms that are prevalent in society shape the culture of women.
For instance, divorce is considered nothing more than a taboo and a stain on womanhood. This is a norm, or to be specific, a gendered norm that applies to women just because of a patriarchal mindset. Moreover, the radical school of thought on feminism also talks about the same thing.

  • Psychology and Gender studies

Psychology is the scientific study of human minds, and it functions especially by studying those human behaviours that are affecting their minds. Gender psychology, on the other hand, deals with the psychological and social impact of sex differences as well as the role and development of gender identity on behavior. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory of feminism is an epic example of psychological behaviour linked with gender inequality, which is prevalent in society. Furthermore, it examines historical antecedents of gender differences, the development of gender identity, and sex differences in performance, achievement, attribution, cognition, interpersonal things, and psychopathology in order to illustrate gender fiction.

  • Economics and Gender studies

Economics is a social sciences subject that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods. It also involves individuals, businesses, government, and other sectors in making decisions about resource relocation. Gender studies, on the other hand, are closely linked to this discipline since gender studies also talk about economic equality for women. Participation of women in the labour force, wage differences and an unequal number of opportunities in various sectors of the state are all address by gender studies from an economic point of view. Similarly, Marxist feminism is a huge supporter of economic equality for women and blames patriarchy and power relations for gender inequality. Also, it calls out men as oppressors who use women, both in the public and private sphere, to generate income yet deprive them of equal opportunities.

  • Political Science and Gender Studies

Political science is a social science field and a scientific study of politics. It deals with the structure of government, power and politics. It also involves political thoughts, behaviour, constitution and laws. Gender studies intake political science as a discipline and talk about political equality and the rights of women. It says that certain legislations are discriminatory and tend to satisfy patriarchal norms only. Moreover, the political representation of women in third-world countries is the least as per UN Women. After the French revolution, voting rights were given to privileged white men only. Susan B. Anthony in the Trial of Susan B. Anthony challenged it. As a result, women got voting rights in 1920 as a result of the second wave of feminism.

  • Social work and gender studies

Social work deals with the basic needs of communities, vulnerable and oppressed people, especially those living in poverty. Social work also discussed the violence, slavery and other oppressive things done by men to women via the gendered lens. Radical feminists were of the view that it is men who are responsible for forcing women into stuff like prostitution, pornography and setting artificial beauty standards. Therefore, social work in a gender perspective deals with such oppressive acts done by men to women, thus relating gender studies and social work.

  • Literature and Gender studies

Literature is specifically related to books, and works of prominent authors, sometimes in the form of fables, drama, autobiography, prose and poetry, fiction, journalistic literature etc. Gender and literature are closely related because literature promotes women’s writings of famous women authors depicting social problems of society. A few such examples include the famous writings of feminist Ismat Chugtai in ‘Chothi Ka Jora’ shedding light upon early women’s marriages and the financial crunch that she faces being a widow in a male-dominant society. Similarly, Tehmina Durrani, a Pakistani writer in her book ‘My Feudal Lord’ discussed social problems such as the alienation of women by the elite and feudal of the country. Such writings clearly show that gender is a social construction and not a biological one.

  • Law and Gender studies

Gender equality is achieved when both sexes are given equal rights and opportunities via a legal framework. Laws, which are made to facilitate people, are unable to protect women’s rights. The laws against rape, harassment, etc., are just on paper and lack affirmative implementation. Gender studies persuade people and especially the legislators, to make gender-equal laws for men, women and transgenders. Gender studies itself discusses issues such as domestic abuse, marital rape etc., which are a serious problems. Despite having laws, all these issues are still unaddressed and just limited to paper. Work is being done to introduce women’s protection laws. However, implementation is required in true spirits.

Laws against Protection from harassment against Women at Workplace, 2010Talks about the protection of women against harassment in the workplace.
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004Provides protection to women against the crime of honour killing.
Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2012Offers protection against domestic, sexual, mental and emotional abuse to women
  • Communication studies and Gender studies

Communication studies is an academic discipline that deals with the process of human communication and behaviour, patterns of communication, interpersonal relations, interactions and communication in various cultures. Communication is a field of that strives to make people talk differently to make the environment more humane and peaceful. Similarly, gender studies and communication work collectively to focus on how verbal and non-verbal communication is affected by gender. Gender communication, to be specific, is the field that changes the way we talk about people through a gendered lens. For instance, the word ‘Queer’ was a harsh term used for homosexual beings. However, now we use the term LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) for those who are not straight. Similarly, the word ‘slut’ was used for those who indulged in prostitution. This word is more of an abusive term now. However, communication studies and gender have now replaced the word, sex workers.  Thus, communication can address many gender-related therefore creating a more humane environment.


Gender studies, although it seems like it is a subject dealing with a narrow scope of things, it is multidisciplinary in nature. Gender studies are reflected in all the above-mentioned disciplines irrespective of their nature. Other subjects, such as psychology, social work, sociology, communication studies, political sciences, economics etc., are engraved somehow in gender studies. Gender studies have become a part of almost every discipline focusing on women and addressing the issues faced by them in various fields. Gender studies is, therefore, an evolving subject and create an understanding that the study of gender shall remain incomplete without probing the psychological, sociological and biological aspects of the life of a human being.

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