Gender studies is a field for interdisciplinary study devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women's studies(concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics), men's studies and queer studies.Sometimes, gender studies is offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, geography, history, political science, sociology, anthropology, cinema, media studies, human development, law, and medicine. It also analyzes how race, ethnicity, location, class, nationality, and disability intersect with the categories of gender and sexuality. Regarding gender, Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one." This view proposes that in gender studies, the term "gender" should be used to refer to the social and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities and not to the state of being male or female in its entirety. However, this view is not held by all gender theorists. Beauvoir's is a view that many sociologists support (see Sociology of gender), though there are many other contributors to the field of gender studies with different backgrounds and opposing views, such as psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and feminists such as Judith Butler. Gender is pertinent to many disciplines, such as literary theory, drama studies, film theory, performance theory, contemporary art history, anthropology, sociology, sociolinguistics and psychology. However, these disciplines sometimes differ in their approaches to how and why gender is studied. For instance in anthropology, sociology and psychology, gender is often studied as a practice, whereas in cultural studies representations of gender are more often examined. In politics, gender can be viewed as a foundational discourse that political actors employ in order to position themselves on a variety of issues. Gender studies is also a discipline in itself, incorporating methods and approaches from a wide range of disciplines.
Women's studies is an interdisciplinary field of academic study that examines gender as a social and cultural construct, the social status and contributions of women, and the relationships between power and gender. Popular methodologies within the field of women's studies include standpoint theory, intersectionality, multiculturalism, transnational feminism, autoethnography, and reading practices associated with critical theory, post-structuralism, and queer theory. The field researches and critiques societal norms of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social inequalities. It is closely related to the broader field of gender studies.