Module VPR-3206:
Sex and Society

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Joshua Andrews

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of the module is to explore some major sexual issues about which philosophers and religious thinkers debate: are gender and reproductive roles natural or are they socially constructed? Must sex occur within the institution of marriage? What kinds of sexual activity are morally permissible and under what sort of circumstances? Should the church give its blessing to gay marriages? The module will also examine the basis of women’s oppression over the centuries and will trace the rise and influence of the feminist movement and current notions of gender equality.

Course content

The module will begin by addressing the moral permissibility of various kinds of sexual activity. Must it be heterosexual? Must sexual activity take place within the confines of the institution of marriage? What are the arguments for and against the ordination of gay bishops in the Church of England? Should the Church give its blessing to gay marriages? The module will then explore the predominant view of the Old and New Testaments concerning sex, marriage and divorce. It will then trace the rise of the concern for gender equality and the influence of the feminist movement. Finally, consideration will be given to the way in which questions about sexual morality lead to more general issues about social relationships.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A - - A*. Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:  Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.  Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.  Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

good

Good C- - C +. Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:  Good structure and logically developed arguments.  At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.  Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.  Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Very Good B- - B+. Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:  Very good structure and logically developed arguments.  Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.  Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.  Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

threshold

D- - D +. Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

 Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.  Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.  Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.  Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Have a grasp of the main issues in contemporary debates concerning sexual morality

  2. Have developed oral and written skills in debates and argumentation.

  3. Have acquired a clear understanding of the Jewish and Christian perspectives concerning sex, marriage and gender issues

  4. Have acquired a clear understanding of the rise of the feminist movement and current notions of gender equality

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
written essay 50
examination 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture 24
Private study 176

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Courses including this module