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SOC3045 : Regulating Sexuality

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephen Seely
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


In this module students analyse social, legal, and scientific control and regulation of sexual norms. This is done through detailing historical and contemporary sites of cultural and political struggle over sexual practice, intimacy, and identity. We also explore the social, political, cultural and economic contexts to forms of regulation.

In doing so we consider both contemporary and historical debates over sexuality using both empirical and theoretical tools. We will look at topics such as pornography, LGBTQ+ rights, commercial sex, abortion, consent, sexual violence, sexual normativity, marriage and the family, and sexual offences.

Specifically, the module aims to:
. Analyse social, legal and scientific control and regulation of sexual norms;
. Examine detailed historical and contemporary sites of cultural and political struggles over sexual practice and identity;
. Explore the social, political, cultural and economic contexts different forms of regulation;
. Consider both contemporary and historical debates over sexuality using both empirical and theoretical tools.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins by introducing students to different sociological approaches to sexuality, regulation, and their relationship. The rest of the module builds around these foundations, introducing theoretical ideas from feminist and queer theory, socio-legal studies, and science and technology studies through in-depth exploration of historical and contemporary examples of the moral, legal, medical, and scientific regulation of sexuality in the UK and beyond. Lectures and seminars will be responsive to current events and students are strongly encouraged to engage in contemporary debates using the module content.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Timetabled PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1127:00127:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Timetabled PiP seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Timetabled PiP seminar for student group presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Timetabled PiP workshops
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to key concepts, theories, debates, and examples. Lectures will include opportunities to question, discuss, and develop the ideas necessary to achieve the intended knowledge outcomes.

Seminars will provide students opportunities to consolidate understanding of lecture and reading content and to further develop ideas through discussion and active learning exercises in small groups. Students will have the opportunity in seminars to pursue unanswered questions and issues, supplementing the lectures in the pursuit of the intended knowledge outcomes.

Workshops are designed to support students in preparing for assessments in discussion with peers and the module leader. Framed around preparing for assessments, the workshops will support the attainment of the intended skill outcomes.

Independent study includes regular reading and preparation for lectures and seminars, as well as research, planning, and preparation of assessments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M2510-15 minute group presentation
Essay1M251000-word idependent reflective essay on group project
Portfolio1M502000-word dossier
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment One is a creative project involving two components: Students will select a contemporary social problem concerning sexuality (in consultation with the module leader). Working in small groups (3-4), students will research the issue, analyse it using module materials, and evaluate regulatory solutions. Each group's findings will be presented to their wider seminar group in an oral presentation of about 10 minutes, followed by peer discussion. An individual essay of 1000 words will offer an opportunity for independent reflections on the project. This project will assess students' ability to utilize concepts, apply theoretical frameworks to "real-world" problems, evaluate existing debates, and creatively propose solutions. It will support development in written and oral communication, as well as working in a small group to solve problems.

Assessment Two is a 2000-word portfolio in which students will catalogue historical and contemporary examples of sexual regulation and analyse them using relevant theoretical frameworks. This assessment will require students to carrry out library/online/media-based research and present their findings in a theoretical and imaginative manner. The portfolio will address knowledge from the full range of lecture and seminar topics, assessing the ability to apply theoretical concepts and to assemble gathered data according to the larger module themes.

Both assessments are designed to engage students' sociological imaginations and to encourage practical exploration of the relationship between social research and social regulation and reform.

Reading Lists