Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Sociologists have increasingly come to appreciate how differences related to gender and sexuality permeate and have profound effects for every aspect of our lives, from the most intimate to the most public. As foundational categories of social life, gender and sexuality are so interwoven with the self that they are very often invisible to us even as they have powerful implications for our life opportunities. This unit introduces you to sociological perspectives on gender and sexuality as not biologically constructed but instead shaped by social and cultural factors. It will critically examine the different ways in which gender and sexuality are regulated and produced by social structures, institutions and interactions. The unit focuses on how gender and sexuality intersect with race, class and culture across time and space, exploring how power works through these social categories to shape our lives, experiences and perceptions of the social world. The overall aim of this unit is to acquaint students with theory and empirical research in the sociology of gender and sexuality, allowing them to make sense of diverse gender and sexual expressions and the factors that influence their differential treatment within society.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1-Identify different sociological approaches and perspectives relevant to the study of gender and sexuality (GA1, GA5, GA6)

LO2-Communicate clearly and comprehensively through written and oral forms (GA9)

LO3-Demonstrate skills in sociological analysis and critical thinking through the collection and analysis of empirical data through a range of methods (GA4, GA8)

LO4-Apply relevant sociological theories, concepts and evidence to the analysis of social phenomena associated with gender and sexuality (GA1, GA4, GA8)

LO5-Construct specific sociological arguments using relevant theories, concepts and evidence relevant to gender and sexuality (GA4, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • Theories of gender and sexuality
  • Feminisms and women’s liberation
  • Masculinities and femineities
  • LGBTIQA+ movement
  • Patriarchy, sexism and misogyny
  • Sex, gender and sexual discrimination
  • Intersectionality
  • Public/private spheres
  • Queer theory
  • Historical and cultural differences in gender and sexuality
  • Gender and social institutions e.g. work, family, marriage and religion
  • Socialisation and social control 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit employs two formal ways of learning and teaching. It additionally makes use of online materials and activities to facilitate flexible and accessible supplementary learning. Lectures are structured to promote case-based learning, a format that involves collaborative deep learning. You will explore real world issues alongside sociological theories and concepts, a process that requires them to demonstrate their investigative, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Case-based learning requires learning specific theories and concepts that will complement the conceptual tools and theoretical knowledge critical to analysing divergent approaches to the sociology of gender and sexuality. Tutorials for this unit provide students opportunities for active learning. You will engage in activities including reading, writing, interrogating ideas, exploring case studies, doing role plays, debating, and giving presentations. These activities, as well as promoting acquisition, assimilation and synthesis of lecture content, are designed to build skills appropriate to second year study in Sociology.


This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit have been designed to contribute to high quality student learning by both helping students learn (assessment for learning), and by measuring explicit evidence of their learning (assessment of learning). Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. These have been designed so that they use a variety of tasks to measure the different learning outcomes at a level suitable for second year study in Sociology.


The assessments in this unit encourage students to apply a sociological perspective to identify a social problem related to gender and sexuality (problem-solving task), critically consider a sociological approach to gender and sexuality in an in-depth manner (written task) and demonstrate a sociological understanding of the concepts, theories and case studies covered in the unit (exam/tests). The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for students to monitor their own progress, practice their skills and receive feedback. This assists students to develop metacognitive awareness, thereby promoting ongoing learning.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Problem Solving Task

Students are required to identify and present a social problem associated with gender and sexuality.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Written Task

Students are required to write an essay on a key topic associated with gender and sexuality covered in the unit.


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA8, GA9

Exam/In Class Tests

Students are required to demonstrate mastery of content and skills covered in the unit over the semester.


LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Buchbinder, D. (2013) Studying men and masculinities. London & New York: Routledge.

Disch, L. & Hawkesworth, M. (2016) The Oxford handbook of feminist theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elliot, P. (2016) Debates in transgender, queer, and feminist theory: Contested sites. London & New York: Routledge.

Evans, M. (2017) The persistence of gender inequality. Cambridge & Malden: Polity.

Ferguson, S.J. Ed. (2016) Race, gender, sexuality, social class: Dimensions of inequality and identity. 2nd ed., Singapore: SAGE Publications.

Fitzgerald, K.J. & Grossman, K.L. (2017) Sociology of sexualities. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Krane, V. Ed. (2018) Sex, gender and sexuality in sport: Queer inquiries. Oxon & New York: Routledge.

Mulholland, J., Montagna, N. & Sanders-McDonagh, E. Eds. (2018) Gendering nationalism: Intersections of nation, gender and sexuality. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

O’Brien, J. & Stein, A. Eds. (2018) Gender, sexuality, and intimacy: A contexts reader. Singapore: SAGE Publications.

Risman, B.J., Froyum, C.M. & Scarborough, W.J. Eds. (2018) Handbook of the sociology of gender. 2nd ed., Cham: Springer.

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