Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3011: Gender, Sexuality and Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Charlie Bishop (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Gender, sex and sexuality are the organising concepts upon which our society is based, yet these have fundamentally changed over the last 50 years. Currently in the UK a 10% pay gap exists between genders; over 300,000 men are 'stay-at-home dads'; an estimated 1 in 4000 are receiving treatment for gender-dysphoria and around 1.4% of UK society identifies as LGBT. Conversely, children’s genitals are routinely modified to fit into law’s binary understandings of gender and despite the mounting evidence of the prevalence of intersexualities (those with ambiguous genitalia) legally a person is still constructed as either man or woman. Yet how do you think the law interacts or should interact with these changing social concepts of gender and sexuality? How does/should the law regulate and construct genders that we assume to be natural?

In this module you will be given the opportunity to critique how law regulates the naturalisation and construction of these concepts and will be asked to reflect on what it means to be a man or a woman in contemporary society. Through a range of lectures and workshops, you will tackle these thought-provoking and often emotionally-charged issues and explore the different theoretical approaches that fuel these debates including feminism, masculinity studies and queer theory. In each workshop, you will be encouraged to make group presentations on a range of topics to really engage with this critique of the law and to facilitate group discussion around these highly controversial yet prevalent issues surrounding sex, gender and sexuality.

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