On Campus
1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 1-hour film screening weekly (no timetabling)
1 x 8.25-hour independent study weekly

Distance Online
1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour film screening weekly
1 x 8.25-hour independent study weekly
4.5 units of Level 1 topics
Enrolment not permitted
1 of SOCI3016, WMST2011, WMST3009, WMST7013, WMST7019, WMST9023 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
First year sociology topic knowledge, or first year knowledge gained from humanities or social science topics
Assignment(s), Participation, Presentation
Topic description

How do ideas about sexuality, intimacy and the body, and their enactment in personal, social and political arenas, shape our personal identities and our place in the world? This topic draws from the interdisciplinary field of sexuality studies, sociological and historical approaches, perspectives developed by feminisms and GLBT movements and, more recently, queer theory. Twenty-first century case studies, drawn from Australian and global contexts, may include sex work, disability, moral panics about children and sexuality, abortion and reproductive rights, violence, and the impact of neoliberal ideology on the politics of sexuality. The topic looks for inspiration from non-mainstream representations of sexuality, including from independent Australian film.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Equip students with an ethical vocabulary that embodies respect for sexual diversity and sexual rights and enables understanding and communicating about sexuality issues
  • Offer students the opportunity to consider how ideas about, and practices of, sexuality have changed over time to shape their personal lives and the world around them
  • Enable students to develop facility with key theorists of sexuality, intimacy and the body and critically reflect on contemporary debates and case studies
  • Foster independent critical thinking about sexuality as well respectful collaborative endeavours to discuss problems and formulate solutions
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to able to:

  1. Assess various social, political and cultural arenas where ideas about and practices of sexuality play a crucial role
  2. Compare a range of current theories about sexuality
  3. Evaluate some current public debates about sexuality and how related axes of difference and power are at stake
  4. Determine some of the ways in which their own lives are shaped by ideas about sexuality through critical reflection
  5. Discuss the politics of sexuality ethically and respectfully with peers and others

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.