Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, & Sexual Politics in Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Program Type: Faculty-directed

Semester: Summer

In this program, students learn about sex and gender politics, policy, and history in the Netherlands, one of the most sexually liberal countries in the world.  This nation was the first to legalize same sex marriages; it grants sex workers legitimate status; and it covers sex reassignment surgeries through its government health plan. Yet this ‘culture of tolerance’ has its limits and is fraught with apparent contradictions.  For example, tolerance for sexual and gender diversity is counter-balanced by pervasive social intolerance of Muslim immigrants.  Students explore these issues in workshops with Dutch scholars, professionals, and activists who work in fields related to sexuality and immigration, LGBT rights, sex work, sex education, and transgender policies.  Students gain valuable experience, relevant to many different career paths, including public policy, law, academia, social work, and non-profit,

Students reside in the center of Amsterdam, where world-famous museums and cafes abound alongside beautiful canals and historic architecture. Excursions include a trip to Brussels, where students visit the European Parliament and meet with representatives from the Intergroup on LGBT rights. Students take guided, academic tours of Amsterdam neighborhoods, including the Red Light district.  The final weekend of the program students attend the world-famous Canal Pride festival.