Sex: Science and the Community

Subject UNIB30004 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, 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: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours
Prerequisites: At least 75 points of Level 2 subjects

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: No specific requirements
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:


Prof Geoff Shaw



Subject Overview:

Sex is a topic that pervades lives, but seldom is it studied from broad, multidisciplinary perspectives. Students taking this subject will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the sociological, ethical, educational and legal issues informed by a firm understanding of the biology underlying these issues. Major themes will include:

  • Evolution of sex and sexual behaviour;
  • Manipulating reproduction, including contraception and assisted reproduction, and the attendant psychosocial, legal and political issues;
  • Reproductive health and its past and present implications
  • Sex education - how do people learn about sex.
  • Sex, sexuality and society, will investigate issues relating to sex, sexuality and gender using a multidisciplinary approach; and
  • Sex, and population, including world population growth, fertility rates, demographic change, and related social, religious and political issues.

Students will be expected to integrate material from a range of academic disciplines to arrive at a new understanding of these complex issues.

Objectives: On completion of this subject, students should have a broad understanding of sex and sexuality from a broad range of perspectives, and have the breadth of knowledge and understanding to be able to contribute to topical debates on these issues.
Assessment: Computer based exercises during the semester (24%); tutorial participation during the semester (16%); an assignment totalling up to 1500 words due during the semester (15%); a written examination in the examination period (45%).
Prescribed Texts: No specific text prescribed. Selected readings and course manuals will be provided.
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: On completion of this subject, students should have further developed the following skills:
  • Integration of material from diverse disciplines.
  • Rational discussion of multidisciplinary/ interdisciplinary issues.
  • Ability to present a broad-based and reasoned argument on a set topic.
  • Ability to locate and use academic resources from a range of disciplines.

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