Same-Sex Desire: From God to Genes

Subject UNIB20016 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: Two 1-hour lectures and 1-hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Graham Willett

Subject Overview:

‘From God to Genes’ examines same-sex desire and same-sex behaviours as understood by a variety of disciplines, including genetics, theology, history, law and medicine. Through interdisciplinary team teaching, and a range of learning and assessment activities, students will be introduced to the ways in which contemporary debates around ‘homosexuality’ are the product of diverse understandings and disciplinary approaches. The subject will investigate the relationship between academic disciplines, as well as between academic debates and the broader community.


At the completion of this subject students should be able to:
• identify the ways in which same-sex behaviour, attraction and identity have been understood and debated by a variety of disciplines;
• explain how and why different disciplines have different understandings of these phenomena;
• understand how the study of contemporary debates about sexuality deepens our understanding of broader debates in a complex society.
• apply interdisciplinary understandings of sexuality to their professional and public lives


5 online quizzes (weekly during first half of semester) 20%
1000 word contribution to group assessment task (due during semester) 30%
1 x 3000 essay or other written assessment task (due end of semester) 50%

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Generic skills
• Critical thinking and analysis skills developed through reading, essay writing, group work and tutorial discussion
• Ability to think in theoretical terms through engagement in the methodologies of the humanities, sciences and social sciences
• Understanding of the role of social, ethical and cultural context in the construction of knowledge, social policy and social attitudes
• Critical self-awareness and openness to new ideas and possibilities and ability to apply these to real-life situations

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