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Introduction to Advancing Sexuality Studies: A short course on sexuality theory and research methodologies.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Advancing Sexuality Studies: A short course on sexuality theory and research methodologies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Advancing Sexuality Studies: A short course on sexuality theory and research methodologies

2 2 2 Developed by: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and The International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS) With funding from The Ford Foundation Available under an Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike licence from Creative Commons

3 3 Schedule Learning activityTime allowed Course introduction, short course credits, schedule, aims What is sexuality? Introducing (y)ourselves 10 mins 5 mins 10 mins Session 1. Short course background Sexuality studies audit: mini lecture Reflecting on experience The project: mini lecture 40 mins 15 mins 10 mins 15 mins Session 2. So, what is sexuality? Defining sexuality: review Definitions: mini lecture 45 mins 30 mins 15 mins ConclusionTO BE ADDED Total time: 110 mins ( just under 2 hours)

4 4 4 What is sexuality? Introductory activity: –Spend 5 minutes on your own, writing a short definition of sexuality –We will come back to this definition later

5 5 5 Introducing (y)ourselves In small groups: (5 mins) –What is your name, and what do you like to be called? –Where are you from? (Institution & position, geographical location) –What is your major discipline or interest area? –Tell us something about yourself that only your friends might know Introduce each other to the whole group (5 mins) The facilitator(s) will also introduce themselves

6 6 6 Session 1. Short course background

7 7 7 Background Developed in response to growing recognition of the need for advanced training in critical sexuality studies in developing countries Began with an international audit of sexuality training –Context-setting exercise for the development of course materials –Results available from

8 8 8 Sexuality studies audit Identified 5 (overlapping) strands of sexuality research: 1.HIV/AIDS 2.Sexology 3.Sexual & reproductive health (S&RH) 4.Gender studies 5.Critical sexuality studies

9 9 9 Sexuality in HIV/AIDS Based on public health frameworks Developing countries or were aimed at developing country audiences Sexual behaviour = sexual risk Absence of diverse sexualities not deemed to be at risk of HIV/AIDS e.g. lesbians

10 10 Sexuality in sexology Claim to broad multi-disciplinary basis Sexology is currently highly medicalised Concentration on sexual pathologies and dysfunctions…. –which are then ameliorated by medical practitioners and therapists trained in psychology

11 11 Sexology sub-strands The search for origins or explanations for sexual behaviour –For example, when hormones or genes are investigated as influences in sexual orientation The behavioural and descriptive strands attempt to capture the diversity of human sexual behaviour –Often referred to as sex research

12 12 Sexuality in S&RH Wealthy industrialised countries –Emphasis on issues of reproduction, less on sexually transmissible infections –Sexual and reproductive health is highly individualised The developing world –Sexual and reproductive health is overtaking a previous focus on sexually transmissible infections and questions of fertility –Extends to social and political questions, including male and female circumcision, and sexual violence

13 13 Often limited to study of women and sexuality; gender as a system of power and relationships is often neglected Consequently, men are often absent from the discussions except as perpetrators of violence or abuse Relationship between gender, sexuality and biological sex sometimes poorly theorised Interdisciplinary nature of gender studies is often not foregrounded when gender is used in the arena of health Sexuality in gender studies

14 14 Feminism and sexual liberation movements in the 1960s led to growing critique of sexology New theories of sexuality emerged, loosely described as Critical Sexuality Studies (CSS) Multifaceted field, crossing several social science and humanities disciplines but with a focus on the shifting relationships of power, knowledge, context, and culture Sexuality in CSS

15 15 Brainstorm Think about your personal experiences of involvement in work related to sexuality –Did this work fit under any of the five strands identified? –Do the descriptions of the five strands sound familiar? –In your experience, what were the restrictions or benefits of working under any one particular strand? (10 mins)

16 16 Project aims The short course will: –Increase the quality and diversity of research and training activity into human sexuality in the developing world –Develop and enhance existing skills levels in undertaking complex research into, and the development and application of theory, in the field of Critical Sexuality Studies –Connect with other multi-disciplinary investigations and initiatives in international sexuality research and advanced training Cont.

17 17 Project aims cont. –Create a wider network of researchers and practitioners using critical sexuality studies to investigate and contribute to cultural analysis and production, global sexual and reproductive health, HIV & AIDS, and justice in gender and sexuality –Contribute to the development of an increased global dialogue on human sexuality

18 18 Overall learning objectives Short course participants will: –Increase their skills, knowledge and networking capacity in sexuality research and theoretical development –Initiate and stimulate dialogue between locally based knowledge frameworks, CSS and global discussions of sexuality –Work critically with advanced sexuality theory and research methodologies –Employ innovative methods for researching human sexuality in specific settings –Gain enhanced capacities to encourage sexuality research in their own countries and regions

19 19 Modules Each module is designed for use: –As a stand-alone or grouped with other modules –To be incorporated into other courses, or –As part of the complete short course Examples of module titles are: –Kinship and Sexuality –Sexuality, The Body and Personhood –Thinking About Men and Masculinities –Sex, Sexuality and Gender: Basic Concepts –Critical Sexuality Studies and Research Methodologies

20 20 Session 2. So, what is sexuality?

21 21 Group work Form small groups Each person should briefly review their personal notes from the start of the introduction Group discussion (10 mins) Feedback from rapporteurs (15 mins) Wrap-up (5 mins)

22 22 Dictionary definitions The quality of being sexual or having sex … usage recorded 1836 Possession of sexual powers, or capability of sexual feelings … usage recorded 1879 Recognition of or preoccupation with what is sexual; allusions to sexual matters … usage recorded 1848 A person's sexual identity in relation to the gender [sic] to which he or she is typically attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual … proposed dictionary addition 2004 OED

23 23 Theoretical definition Sexuality … [is] an historical construction which brings together a host of different biological and mental possibilities, and cultural forms gender identity, bodily differences, reproductive capacities, needs, desires, fantasies, erotic practices, institutions and values which need not be linked together, and in other societies have not been. Weeks, J (2003: 7) Sexuality: Second Edition, Routledge

24 24 Conclusion FACILITATOR TO ADD: –Which modules to be presented, estimated timings, and the aims of each module –An overview of key terms and concepts that will be used in the modules presented – NB: This activity should offer the opportunity for participants to check their own understandings of these terms and concepts

25 25 Module created by: –Professor Gary W. Dowsett, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Available under an Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike licence from Creative Commons

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