Sociology of Gender and Sexuality

Course content

Discussions about the changing significance of gender and sexuality often evoke strong feelings, political opinions, and fierce academic debate. This course uses classic theories of gender and sexuality to nuance the discussion about emerging gendered and sexual phenomena.

As empirical material, this course focuses on the pornography debate, from the so-called “sex wars” of the 70’s and 80’s up to today. We will use these discussions to understand how digital intimacy and visual sexuality are conceptualized and discussed in contemporary feminist literature. That way, the course underlines both continuities and progressions in feminist understanding risks and pleasures in new technology. Students will learn to navigate the often polarized debates about the changing significance of new gendered and sexual practices.

The course literature presents theoretical concepts on gender and sexuality in order to critically analyze developing society issues. As a theoretical basis the course will present and discuss the work of Judith Butler, as well as earlier sociological theories, such as sexual scripts theory. At the course we will use this scholarship to engage in some of the most pressing discussions that concern gender and sexuality today, such as technology facilitated sexual violence and new masculinities. By introducing concepts and analytical tools from a range of feminist and sociological traditions, the students will engage in nuanced discussions of ongoing societal phenomena.


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

Master Programme in Social Data Science

Master Programmes in Sociology

Master Programme in Anthropology

Master Programme in Psychology

Master programme in Global Development

Master Programme in Political Science

The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities


This course is a part of this course package:

- Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Learning outcome


Account for key concepts and theories of gender and sexuality and empirical studies of contemporary gendered and sexual practices.

Know the modern history of feminist theory.



Apply, compare and contrast different theories to analyse and discuss societal issues of gender and sexuality

Identify and discuss different strands of theories and what potentials and problems they have in understanding emerging phenomena sexuality and gender

Trace the development within feminist theories from previous debates about visual sexuality to contemporary phenomena of digital intimacy.



Carry out independent analysis of gendered and sexual phenomena

Convincingly present the contributions and pitfalls of theories about gender and sexuality

Critically asses ones own application of theoretical frameworks to a given issue

Assess the contributions of previous discussion of gender and sexuality to contemporary feminist discussions about sexual images on/offline

Lectures, in-class discussions and exercises. Student also have the possibility of signing up for presentations leading up to their exam projects. For their final exams, the students will be asked relate the course literature to a specific, contemporary area of social practice, for which they will need to review and assess literature independently. The class will engage with ongoing public and academic debates about gender and sexuality and students will be tasked with providing sociological perspectives on these.

Theoretical papers and case studies will be provided in a reading packet. For their exam projects and class presentations, students will be expected to seek out and discuss other relevant literature

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Peer-feed back of presentations and in-class assignments will be integrated throughout the course. Because the course deals with sensitive and personal matters of gender and sexuality, it is a particular focus for this class that students will respond to each other’s oral and written products in a constructive and respectful manner.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Take-home exam - Group or individual.

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Sociology prohibits the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, for generating novel and creative content in written exams. However, students may use AI/LLMs to enhance the presentation of their own original work, such as text editing, argument validation, or improving statistical programming code. Students must disclose if and how AI/LLMs have been used in an appendix, which will not count toward the page limit of the exam. This policy is in place to ensure that students’ written exams accurately reflect their own knowledge and understanding of the material.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Criteria for exam assessment:

Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings

Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings

Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 78
  • Project work
  • 100
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Sidsel Kirstine Harder   (3-78706d4578746833707a336970)
Saved on the 05-03-2024

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