module specification

SS7148 - Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Interventions (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Interventions
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
164 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Oral Presentation
Coursework 60%   3500 - 4000 word essay
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Week All day

Module summary

 This module will focus on forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood.  We will address: incidence, prevalence and reporting; theoretical and explanatory frameworks; impacts and meaning for victims/survivors; persistence and change with respect to legal frameworks, the justice system and support services; perpetrators and approaches to prevention.

This module will:
- explore the extent and forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood;
- critically examine theoretical, conceptual and explanatory frameworks; 
- locate legal reform, support services and policy development in historical and comparative contexts;
- examine the impacts and consequences for individuals and for gender and generational relations;
- explore prevention and work with perpetrators in context of contemporary sexual norms and cultures.



Theory, concepts and boundaries LO1, LO3, LO4
Sociological, psychological and biological theories of sexuality and sexual crime, with an emphasis on feminist perspectives; definitions and overlaps between rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse; boundary issues between consent and non-consent, acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, including in the context of changing sexual cultures. 

Prevalence, impact and meanings LO1, LO3, LO4
Prevalence studies - methods and findings; debates on who defines 'rape' and how; reporting and seeking help; the framings of victim/survivor, trauma and harm; cultural constructs of honour, stigma and self-blame; constructions of identity in the aftermath of sexual violence and how women and children create personal safety

Law and the Criminal Justice Systems LO2
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 will form a framework for exploring law reform, and comparative data on attrition will provide a basis for explorations of commonalities and differences in international approaches to adult rape and sexual abuse in childhood.

Support services in historical and comparative contexts LO2, LO3
Emergence and constitution of rape crisis centres, survivors’ groups, victim support and children's charities within the UK and comparator countries.  The themes of professionalisation, assimilation and social change will be addressed, alongside what we know about good practice.

Perpetrators and prevention LO1, LO4
The normalisation of aspects of the continuum of sexual violence will be contrasted with social constructions of sex offenders, especially the 'paedophile' and 'serial rapist'. Links between pornography and sexual violence will be explored. A final session will address prevention, with a focus on international campaigns and approaches.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module is delivered over 6 days, 10am -5pm   Three blocks of 2 days will be spread over the teaching semester.  
Case study material will be supplied, as well as recommended reading to support each session.

Learning outcomes

 By the end of the module students should be able to:
1. develop and present an argument using key concepts and contemporary research data;
2. critically assess changing legislative, policy and practice frameworks; 
3. recognise the similarities and differences between a range of forms of sexual violence in childhood and adulthood;
4. draw on and apply explanatory frameworks and social science concepts.

Assessment strategy

This will consist of an individual presentation and an essay.
For the 10 minute presentation students will be able to choose from a list of statements reflecting populist positions and are to use concepts and research data to address the accuracy of the assertion.   The presentation will be assessed against learning outcome 1, and will take place on Day 5. 
For the essay, a list of topics will be supplied on Day 3 and will be assessed against learning outcomes 1 to 4. 
Students must pass on aggregate.
Coursework 100%
Oral presentation followed by a written paper of 3,500 - 4,000 words


 Core Readings:
Brown, J. & Walklate, S. (2011) (eds) Handbook on Sexual Violence London: Routledge. 
Campbell, R. (2002) Emotionally involved: The impact of researching rape New York: Routledge.
Factora-Borchers. L (Ed) (2014) Dear Sister: Letters From Survivors of Sexual Violence. AKbooks.
Gavey, N. (2005) Just Sex? The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape London: Routledge.
Kennedy Bergen, R.L., Edleson, J.L. and Renzetti, C.M. (eds) (2005) Violence Against Women: Classic Papers. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 
Horvath, M.A.H. and Brown, J (2009) Rape: Challenging Contemporary Thinking Cullompton: Willan.
Jordan, J. (2008) Serial Survivors: Women’s narratives of surviving rape Sydney: Federation Press. 
Kelly, L. (1988) Surviving Sexual Violence Cambridge: Polity Press.
Martin, P.Y. (2005) Rape Work: Victims, Gender and Emotions in Organization and Community Context. Abingdon: Routledge.
Phillips, M (2016) Beyond Blurred Lines: Rape Culture in Popular Media. New York, Rowman & Littlefied.
Reavey, P. & Warner, S. (eds) (2003) New Feminist Stories of Child Sexual Abuse, London: Routledge.
Westmarland, N. & Gangoli, G. (2011) (eds) International Approaches to Rape Bristol: Policy Press.

Additional Readings:
Anonymous (2006) A Woman in Berlin, London: Virago.
Cameron, D. and Frazier, E. (1987) The Lust to Kill New York: New York University Press.
Itzin, C (2000) Home Truths about Child Sexual Abuse: Influencing Policy and Practice – a Reader London: Routledge.
Jordan, J. (2004) The Word of a Woman? Police, Rape and Belief Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kelly, L., Lovett, J. and Regan, L. (2005) A Gap or a Chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases, Home Office Research Study 293 London: Home Office. Available from:
Nelson, S. (2016) Tackling Child Sexual Abuse: Radical Approaches to Prevention, Protection and Support. Bristol: Policy Press.
MacKinnon, C.A. (2006) Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues Cambridge: The Belknap Press.
Whittier, N. (2009) The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotions, Social Movements and the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Child Abuse Review
Critical Social Policy
Feminist Media Studies
Feminist Review
Feminist Theory
Journal of Sexual Aggression
Violence Against Women
Women’s Studies International Forum

Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse
Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit
End Violence Against Women Coalition
European Institute for Gender Equality
Nia Project
Open Democracy 50:50
Human Rights Watch
Rape Crisis England and Wales
Rights of Women
The Consent Collective

Electronic Databases:
Academic Search Complete
Care Knowledge
Lexis Library
Oxford Journals Archive
Sage journals online
Science Direct
Social Care Online
Web of Science

Social Media Sources