AGS102 - Histories of Sex and Gender


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

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

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1-hour lecture (livestreamed with recordings provided) per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including:
1 x 1-hour lecture (livestreamed with recordings provided) per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar or equivalent per week


How have ideas about masculinity and femininity changed over time? What shifts have we seen historically in how we think about sexual relationships, gender roles and what makes a family? In what ways have European arrival and subsequent flows of people and information from a globalised world impacted on experiences and expressions of sex, gender and sexuality in Australia? How have campaigns for sexual and gender justice, such as the #metoo movement and LGBTIQ rights activism, changed people’s lives, and what are the histories of struggle behind today’s activism?

This unit reflects on these questions and provides a key introduction to histories of sex, sexuality and gender in Australia while also situating these histories in their broader international and cultural contexts. Through a critical engagement with histories of feminism, masculinities, heterosexuality and LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) life, this unit provides students with an understanding of the historical emergence of different ways of understanding sexual identity, sexual practices, sexuality and gender. Topics include histories of feminist activism, the influence of gay liberation, the emergence of the transgender rights movement, the development of new versions of masculinity and the family, and the importance of decolonising approaches to Australian history. We will explore these debates through a range of creative, critical, theoretical and historical resources, including legal and policy documents, literature, films, television, art, and archival materials. Having a historical understanding of these issues allows students to better grasp contemporary life in Australia.

For students studying the Gender and Sexuality Studies major, this is one of four compulsory core units (the others are AGS101, 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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