Let's say in the distant future humans and aliens are going to school together, at least at a college level. If some of these aliens didn't have gender as we understand it, what questions might they have fore a gender studies course and how would we answer them?

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    $\begingroup$ How can we answer? The "If some of these aliens didn't have gender as we understand it" doesn't give us any information. In addition, their psychology and intelligence might be completely different. Right now humans have wildly differing questions based on their ideas of the world. Aliens might not be different, making any answer we give you as viable as the next. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Apr 26 at 6:41
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't really make sense... If the aliens have no gender, then they wouldn't have a gender studies course. If they do, or if they have multiple genders, their courses would simply be different. I mean, there's nothing "magical" about gender studies, it's (basically) just a history/politics course with a focus on how human gender and sexuality impacted it just like "drama studies" is history with a focus on theater and the associated arts. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Apr 26 at 7:24
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think they would have questions at all. You teach them about sexual dimorphism, which should be a cornerstone in gender studies for humans as well if I understand what it is correctly, and use that to explain the differences in social and economic treatment. Otherwise it's the usual history and culture that define the rest of gender studies unless I'm missing something. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Apr 26 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ VTC:NAW. Here's my problem: (a) Gender study courses are not really about biology. They're usually about cultural roles and how those roles are affected by biology. If this isn't what you meant, then you need to be much more specific with your definition of "gender studies." (b) Further, the likelihood of genderless (or "not gendered like humans") aliens evolving on a world where nothing, no plant, no insect, no animal, absolutely nothing else evolved without gender is completely unbelievable. After all, we have flora and fauna that have all kinds of gender diversity... (*continued*) $\endgroup$ Apr 26 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ ...here on Earth. Our art and literature has investigated all kinds of gender-different conditions. Therefore, while they might find it odd that the sapient species here on Earth has gender - it's impossible for me to believe that they don't understand gender long before they meet us. (c) And given those two issues, they either won't have questions differing from our own ("why do you morons expect the woman to always do the laundry?") or those questions will be more cultural ("why do you morons do laundry?"). Either way, I don't see a worldbuilding (rules & systems) problem here. $\endgroup$ Apr 26 at 14:27

The same questions that humans have with a more basic introductory course

It's important to be clear about two different concepts in answering your question. "Gender" is a societal construct that dictates how people behave in society. It is different from the sexual reproductive organs of a species. I'm assuming that you are explicitly referring to gender here since that's the focus of gender studies classes.

When worldbuilding, I like to start with the real world and see what changes are needed. So let's look at the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major at my alma mater. The first required course is "Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies." Students coming from a genderless society would probably have an additional prerequisite course called something like "The Concept of Gender" to introduce them to the basic ideas. Questions would probably focus on things like "Why do you enforce so many differences between the genders?" and "Where did this idea come from?" and "If it's just a construct, why aren't there more non-binary people?" Once they have the first basic course that introduces the issue, they'd be ready for the standard curriculum. Classes like "Psychology of Sex Differences" and "Sociology of Sex and Gender" would address a lot of the remaining questions.

I'm not giving specific answers to the aliens' questions because, honestly, I don't know them. I've been a human in a gendered society my entire life and I still don't know why I put bows in my baby girl's hair.

EDIT: Changed wording in response to comment from A Writer.

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    $\begingroup$ This is basically it, the only addition I would make is, in reference to sexes, there are more than two biological sexes (there are six). And regarding gender, you would also want to keep in mind people who are non-binary and other people part of the LGBTQA+ community. Such as people who are transgender. $\endgroup$
    – A Writer
    Apr 26 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @AWriter good points, thank you for the feedback. I'm intentionally staying away from the idea of "sex" in my answer, but I removed the reference to two specific genders and added a reference to non-binary people. $\endgroup$ Apr 26 at 14:59

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