AGS101 - Sex and Gender: Ideas That Changed the World


2021 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Trimester 3: Cloud (online), Burwood (Intensive)

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule:






Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

Trimester 1
1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Trimester 3
Campus (Intensive):
1 x 1-hour class, 1 x 2-hour seminar (week 1)
2 x 1-hour class, 2 x 2-hour seminar (weeks 3, 5, 8, 9, 10)

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

Trimester 1 
Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided) and 1 x 2-hour seminar (or equivalent)

Trimester 3
Online independent and collaborative learning activities including in week 1: 1 x 1-hour class (recordings provided), 1 x 2-hour seminar (or equivalent) and in weeks 3, 5, 8, 9, 10: 2 x 1-hour class (recordings provided), 2 x 2-hour seminar (or equivalent)


Sex and gender are everywhere in today’s society. From the question ‘where do babies come from?’ to growing up and developing our identity, to the contemporary public contexts of the books we read, the films we watch, our lives online and the politics which govern us, sex and gender are central. This tells us that sex, sexuality and gender mean different things to different people. More than this, they take on a variety of different meanings in different cultural contexts and at different points in history. Approaching sex, sexuality and gender not as unchanging, universal facts, but as ideas that vary and develop, this unit will help you make sense of different ways of thinking about gender and sexual diversity by providing you with an essential introduction to key ideas, writers and thinkers in gender and sexuality studies.

We will also focus on developing your skills to critically analyse diverse expressions of gender and sexuality in everyday culture and a range of textual forms, including writing, screen texts, advertising, and historical/archival materials. Topics to be introduced in this unit include: feminism in popular culture; changing understandings of masculinity and heterosexuality; LGBTIQ rights movements and activism; influential texts and theories in gender and sexuality studies; decolonising approaches; and contemporary controversies in sex, sexuality and gender.

This unit provides an excellent introduction to students seeking to understand more about the diversity of sex, gender and sexuality in people’s lives and everyday culture. In particular, it provides students with critical skills to better understand and analyse the diversity of gender and sexuality across a wide range of contexts, including in popular culture, personal relationships, the creative arts, humanities research, politics and a range of workplace contexts including schooling, healthcare, psychology, law, marketing, criminology and social policy.

For students studying the Gender and Sexuality Studies major, this is one of four compulsory core units (the others are AGS102, AGS200, and AGS300). This unit is also available as an elective for students who are not studying the GSS major.

Unit Fee Information

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