The Ethics of Sex

Subject 161-518 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture/seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics or MA in Professional and Applied Ethics, or permission from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Igor Primoratz
Subject Overview:

The subject explores the nature and moral significance of sex and the central issues in sexual morality. In the first part we look into the main conceptions of human sexuality: the traditional view of sex as meant for procreation, the 'romantic' view of sex as bound up with love, the understanding of sex as a body language, and the hedonist or 'plain sex' view. In the second part we discuss monogamy, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, sexual harassment, and rape

Assessment: One 1,500 word assignment 30% (due early in the semester). One 3,500 essay 70% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Igor Primoratz Ethics and Sex London and New York: Routledge, 1999

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have improved their ability to integrate abstract moral and conceptual considerations with relevant empirical data
  • have refined the skills necessary for original research by developing the capacity to think rigorously, imaginatively and critically about abstract topics
  • have refined the skills required for written communication of research
  • havestrengthened their ability to comprehend and evaluate complex argumentative texts
Related Course(s): Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics

Download PDF version.