Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. Explain why sexuality is an important lived experience and category of historical analysis
  2. Understand the complexities and variabilities of bodies and genders, and sex and sexuality
  3. Locate sex and sexuality within wider social, political and economic histories
  4. Appreciate diverse cultural and political perspectives sensitively and ethically 
  5. Analyse and evaluate the relationship between historical concepts and contemporary perspectives 
  6. Develop sustained, logical and informed arguments about the histories of the body, gender, sex and sexuality 
  7. Analyse, evaluate and synthesise a range of historical sources
    • LGBTIQ identities and cultures
    • Heterosexuality
    • Ancient Greece and Rome
    • The Church
    • The State, early modern sexuality
    • The Victorians
    • Teenagers
    • Medicine and Science
    • Law and Regulation
    • Marriage and Relationships
    • Prostitution
    • Pornography
    • Sexual Revolutions
    • Birth Control
    • Disease
    • War
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Online assignment submission
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject explores the history of sex and sexuality from antiquity to the present. We begin with a chronological overview spanning the ancient world to online dating before investigating diverse themes in more detail: from sexology to romantic friendships; from prophylaxis to queer lives.  The course examines a diverse range of practices, identities and attitudes in Europe, the US and Australia to consider how gender, class and ethnicity inflect public narratives and intimate lives. We will investigate the meanings people and institutions attach to sex and sexuality at different times and places and think about our contemporary sexual lives and possibilities.

  • Tutorial Reading Responses (20%)
  • Short Biography (30%)
  • Essay (50%)

Textbook information is pending.