HUMN 3110 Gender and Sexualities Across Cultures

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102845

Coordinator Helena Onnudottir Opens in new window

Description Examining the social construction of gender has been central to social science inquiries - including anthropology and sociology - since the 1930s. Early ethnographic studies were instrumental in debunking gender essentialism and challenging the hegemony of western constructs about 'masculinity' and 'femininity'. Since the 1930s, critical social theories and ethnographies have through cross-cultural comparison, demonstrated the great variation in expressions of individual sexuality/ies, the dynamics and confines behind the construction of gender roles and the cultural meaning and expression of gender categories across the globe. This subject will address the ongoing exploration of and challenges to the sex (biology) vs. gender (culture) dichotomy and contemporary cultural, social and political transformation (manipulation) of these categories.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Anthropology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

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Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 3078 - The Anthropologies of Gender and Sexualities


Successful completion of 80 credit points of study

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the concepts and theories of the social and historical construct of gender and sexualities across cultures.
  2. Produce a reflective and comparative analysis on cross-cultural case studies.
  3. Critically analyse the gender diversity across human cultures and societies.
  4. Apply Anthropological theory to contemporary case studies.
  5. Articulate some of the ways biological categories are culturally mediated.

Subject Content

Anthropology of gender.
Anthropology of Sexualities.
Masculinities/femininities/third gender categories.
Gender and power.
Cultural constructs vs. biological determinism.
Cross-cultural comparison of gender roles.
Fluidity and diversity of human sexualities.
To do or not to do? Sex and taboos.
The gendered body.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Report 2 x 200 words 20 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual
Critical Review 2 x 300 words 30 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Lyons, A.P. and H.D. Lyons (eds.) (2011) Sexualities in Anthropology: A Reader, Wiley-Blackwell

Structures that include subject