GS40080 Culture and Sexualities

Academic Year 2023/2024

Cultural diversity as well as sexual and gender diversity are central to our conceptions of men, women, gender, and sexuality. We begin with the understanding that there is no universal category of femininity of masculinity, but in the importance of meaning and context. This module looks at the cultural understandings of sexuality. It will introduce you to critical perspectives and cross-cultural analysis of the way people “negotiate” and exercise resistance to cultural and structural constraints towards sexuality imposed by institutions such as the State, religion, and society at large.

This interdisciplinary module will discuss the production of categories of analysis, such as sex, desire, identity, and gender. It posits sexualities as both, a category of analysis and as a field of study, throughout the 20th century and up to the present. The use of “sexualities” in the plural reflects the myriad of ways in which we can approach the field. The module offers theoretical and methodological tools to understand diversity within the field of sexuality studies. The primary goal of this module is to understand sexuality as a social organization of society. Sexuality goes beyond the personal and subjective experience of desire and intimacy. It is not a private matter; it is a public, political and contested arena in which to analyse power relations. The module conceives sexual and gender oppression as structural factors and examines the role of social justice and human rights movements in advocating for a “sexual subject” and sexual citizenship.

About the module coordinator and lecturer:
Dr. Ernesto Vasquez del Aguila is an Assistant Professor/Ad Astra Fellow at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. By background he is a medical anthropologist with a PhD from Columbia University, New York. His research expertise spans the topics of Masculinities, Migration, Sexualities, Ageing and Global Health based on research undertaken in Latin America, Ireland, and the USA. His latest publications include Unsustainable Institutions of Men: Transnational Dispersed Centres, Gender Power, Contradictions (Routledge 2019) and Being a Man in a Transnational World: The Masculinity and Sexuality of Migration (Routledge 2014). He has previously taught at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima, Peru); Georgetown University (Washington, DC, USA); and at the University of the Philippines (Manila, Philippines).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the semester you should be able to:
1. Critically analyse the ways our societies produce knowledge, discourses, and prescriptions about sexuality;
2. Apply theoretical and methodological tools to analyse the field of sexualities from a variety of sources;
3. Gain a greater understanding of categories of analysis in cultural diversity, gender and sexuality studies today.
4. Use case studies to read critically classic and most updated literature in sexualities studies from the Global North and the Global South;
5. Apply intersectionality as a framework and approach to understand complex dimensions of oppression and marginalisation (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, migrant status, gender, sexual orientation).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The course integrates lectures, discussion of required readings, group discussion of cross cultures case studies, and a group project.

1 Lectures, the instructor will introduce concepts about sexuality studies. We will revise classic and contemporary literature from both, the global north and the global south.
2 Required reading discussion, usually a case study of an empirical research that illustrates the concepts discussed during the introductory lecture.
3 Group discussions will break the class into small groups to discuss cross cultural studies. We will use learning activities, applied research, workshops, etc.
4 Sexuality Virtual Gallery, which allow students to use multimedia to develop virtual exhibits that engage theory with popular cultural. These virtual tours address intersectionality, equality, diversity and inclusion.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Sexualities Virtual Gallery (30%). Group Project. See guidelines on Brightspace. Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: Final paper (70%): Take home essay. See guidelines on Brightspace. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback individually to students, post-assessment Group/class feedback, post-assessment

Name Role
Theresa Schilling Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 14:00 - 15:50