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The University of Southampton

ANTH3002 Sexuality and Intimacy

Module Overview

This module is concerned with different anthropological and sociological approaches to studying two important areas of human experience, namely sexuality and intimacy. We explore the relationship between sex, love and intimacy, taking into consideration the importance of gender and culture. We also examine friendship and consider to what extent we choose our friends. Other topics include sexual identities, the cultural construction of same-gender sexual relations and transgender, HIV/AIDS, sex tourism, and pornography. These topics are explored using a wide range of cross-cultural as well as British examples.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Compare, contrast and critically assess essentialism and constructionism.
  • Be competent in the use of theoretical perspectives and concepts in anthropology and be able to apply them specifically to the areas of sexuality and intimacy.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the application of these approaches to specific areas of social research on sexuality and intimacy.
  • Critically apply sociological concepts to contemporary issues in sexuality and intimacy.
  • Demonstrate your written communication skills.
  • Consolidate your critical evaluation skills.
  • Consolidate your skills of comparative analysis.
  • Further develop your information gathering skills for the collection of appropriate material (print and electronic) for assignments.
  • Identify, select and evaluate appropriate data and evidence from social science sources and present conclusions in an appropriate format.
  • Recognise and formulate social science questions.


LECTURES AND SEMINARS Sexuality and Intimacy: An Introduction The History of Sexuality and Intimacy Intimacy: Definitions and Debates Intimacy Debates (continued) Intimacy and Friendship Challenging Heterosexuality: Theoretical and Political Issues The Social Construction of HIV/AIDS The Cultural Construction of Same-Gender Sexual Relations Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Transgender Sea, Sun and Sex: Sex Tourism and Romance Tourism in a Globalized World Pornography: The Objectification of Women?

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Seidman, S, Fischer, N and Meeks, C (eds) (2001). Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: OriginalEssays and Interviews. 

Weeks, J, Holland, J and Waites, M (eds) (2003). Sexualities and Society: A Reader. 

Parker, R and Aggleton, P (2007). Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 60%
Review paper  (1500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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