module specification

SS6006 - Gender and Sexuality (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Gender and Sexuality
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
216 hours Guided independent study
84 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay - 3,000 word
Coursework 50%   Case study analysis - 3,000 word
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module introduces students to the key concepts and theories relating to the social construction of gender and sexuality and their application to a range of social sectors and issues in the UK and abroad. The ways in which gender and sexuality are both constitutive of the social and are constituted through social structures, institutions and interactions are explored, as are the ways in which theories of gender and sexuality have informed the sociological study of the family, work, health, education, crime, the welfare state and politics, media and the body.

Module aims

  • To introduce and critically analyse key concepts in the sociological study of gender and sexuality;
  • To introduce a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the operation of gender and sexuality at the levels of social structures, social relations and social identities;
  • To consider the impact of gender and sexuality across a range of social sectors and social issues;
  • To consider the links and intersections between gender, sexuality and other forms of social identity and difference, including class, race, ethnicity, etc.
  • To consider the social and political sources of the persistence of discrimination and inequalities on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.


Introduction to key concepts: sex, gender, sexuality, social constructionism, essentialism
Theorising gender – materialist, interactionist, postmodern/poststructuralist, intersectional approaches
Theorising sexuality – heterosexuality as socially constructed; gay and lesbian sexualities; queer theory; Masculinities; Transgender and trans-sexual identities;The family and the household; Gender, employment and labour markets; Education and gender differences

Crime, violence and criminal justice:
• Gender, sexuality and the law
• Domestic violence
• Imprisonment/‘Medical treatment’ for homosexuals

Gender, sexuality and media representations
• visibility/invisibility

Policy and politics
• Gender and the welfare state
• Equality and diversity policy
• Women in politics
• New social movements
• Censorship

• Reproductive technologies
• Body modification
• Sexualised bodies

Learning and teaching

Delivery is through a combination of lectures and seminars, guided independent reading and engagement with online resources. Selected key readings will be made available to students via Weblearn and students are expected to read in advance of classroom sessions, and to regularly reflect on their reading in seminar discussions.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
(LO1) identify and describe a range of sociological concepts and theories used to explain gender and sexuality;
(LO2) demonstrate an understanding of how gender and/or sexuality play a part in shaping specific social sectors.
(LO3) critically evaluate and apply appropriate concepts and theories of gender and/or sexuality to the analysis of specific contemporary social issues and controversies;

Assessment strategy

Two pieces of coursework. The first is a 3,000 word essay exploring and evaluating key concepts and theories (LO1) – 50%.

The second is a 3,000 word case study analysis which requires students to critically consider a contemporary debate or issue in a specific social sector by applying relevant theories (LO2 and 3) – 50%.


Brittan, D. (2011). The Gender of Crime. Lanhan, Meryland: Rowman and Littlefield.
Dines, G and J Humez (2014). Gender, race and class in media: a critical reader, 4th ed. London: Sage Publications.
Ferguson, Susan J. (ed.) (2013). Race, gender, sexuality, and social class: dimensions of inequality. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Gauntlett, D. (2008). Media, gender and identity: an introduction. London; New York: Routledge.
Jones, J. (ed) (2011). Gender, sexualities and law. London; New York: Routledge.
Kelan, E. (2009). Performing Gender at Work. New York: Palgrave.
Lewis, J. (2010) Work-Family Balance, Gender and Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Pascall, G. (2012). Gender Equality in the Welfare State? University of Bristol: Policy Press.
Taylor, Y., Sally Hines and Mark E. Casey (eds) (2011). Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality. New York: Palgrave.
Weeks, J. (2009). Sexuality. London; New York: Routledge.
Wykes, M. and K Welsh (2009). Violence, Gender and Justice, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.