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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Sex and Society in Britain since c.1830 (ECSH10082)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to provide students with a firm understanding of the forces - social, medical and political - that have shaped attitudes and responses towards sexuality in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. It will be considered how certain social groups have attracted labels such as 'normal', 'diseased' and 'deviant'. Students will be encouraged to evaluate these concepts critically, to examine the dynamics at work behind their construction, and to relate them to broader processes of social change.
Course description The ways in which sexual practices have been categorised as ┐normal┐ and ┐abnormal┐ have been neither objective nor consistent. Historically, there have been complex negotiations over how we define and response to those considered to be ┐dangerous┐, ┐deviant┐ and ┐diseased┐. This course will encourage students to examine critically how these concepts were shaped, interpreted and experienced in modern Britain, in relation to broader processes of social change. Topics will include prostitution and the ┐good time┐ girl, abortion and the politics of reproduction, obscenity and censorship, the ┐science┐ of sexology, permissiveness in the ┐swinging┐ sixties, and AIDS and the sexual counter revolution.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, an oral presentation and examination, command of the key historical debates, methodologies and concepts encountered in the history of sexuality, and how they relate to broader processes of social change.
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant secondary sources.
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material.
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Lucy Bland and Frank Mort, ┐Look Out for the ┐Good Time┐ Girl: Dangerous
Sexualities as a Threat to National Health┐, in Formations of Nation and
People (1984)
Vern L. Bullough, Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research (1994)
H.G. Cocks and Matt Houlbrook (eds), The Modern History of Sexuality (2006)
Roger Davidson and Gayle Davis, The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish
Governance, 1950-80 (2012; paperback 2014)
Roger Davidson and Lesley A. Hall (eds), Sex, Sin and Suffering: Venereal Disease
and European Society since 1870 (2001)
Gayle Davis, ┐Health and Sexuality┐, in Mark Jackson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of
the History of Medicine (2011), 503-523
Kate Fisher, Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain, 1918-1960 (2006)
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction (1990)
Lesley Hall, Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 (2000; 2012)
Angus McLaren, Twentieth-Century Sexuality: A History (1999)
Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830
Lutz Sauerteig and Roger Davidson (eds), Shaping Sexual Knowledge: A Cultural
History of Sex Education in Twentieth Century Europe (2009)
Jeffrey Weeks, Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSex and Society
Course organiserDr Gayle Davis
Course secretaryMs Caroline Grevers
Tel: (0131 6 )51 1196
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