Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

GEOG3070 Gender, Sexuality and Space

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, space and place. We will examine how the spaces we occupy are never empty or neutral, but are imbued with history, identity and meaning. Why are certain bodies understood as ‘naturally’ entitled to certain spaces, whereas others are excluded and positioned as ‘out of place’? Why are certain spaces seen as ‘masculine’ and others ‘feminine’? The module explores how processes of ‘spatial purification’ have sought to maintain rigid ideas about ‘appropriate’ gendered identities and sexualities which have historically resulted in the exclusion of certain groups such as LGBT communities and sex workers. We will also examine other ways in which gender and sexuality are implicated in processes of spatial exclusion through instances of ‘everyday sexism’ and ‘everyday homophobia’. The module also examines how the reclamation of space has been a vital tool in campaigns for gendered and sexual justice— such as ‘take back the night’ marches and the Stonewall riots. The module stresses the importance of intersectionality when thinking about the relation between identity, embodiment and place, highlighting the complex interplay of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, classism and abelism. Throughout the module we will explore a number of key questions, such as: how has domestic space traditionally been designed for the nuclear family? How do cities shape our sexual lives? What would a non-sexist city look like? How can spaces be designed to be more inclusive of non-binary genders? Through grounded real-world case studies, the module shows that space matters in both historical and contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key contemporary debates concerning the relation of space, gender and sexuality.
  • The processes by which sexual and gender norms are spatially constructed.
  • The importance of gender and sexuality within broader struggles for spatial and social justice.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the relation between gender, sexuality and space.
  • Understand the importance of intersectionality when examining the relation between identity, embodiment and place.
  • Understand the importance of intersectionality when examining the relation between identity, embodiment and place.
  • Critically evaluate literature that explores the relations between gender, sexuality, space and place.
  • Understand how academic theories concerning gender and sexuality can be applied to real-world everyday examples.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct auto-ethnographic research.
  • Marshal and retrieve data from library and internet resources.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Marshal and retrieve data from library and internet resources.
  • Verbally communicate complex ideas with confidence.
  • Write fluently and comprehensively on complex topics.
  • Work independently and in a team.
  • Write creatively and engagingly for non-academic audiences.


Details of the course content vary each year in response to individual student interests and feedback, but the following is an illustration of the likely content: Week 1 Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Introducing the module and key concepts Seminar (1 hour): Intersectionality: gender, sexuality, race and class Week 2: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Home cultures: Domesticity, gender & sexuality. Seminar (1 hour): The gendered geographies of home Week 3: Interactive Lecture (2 hours) Man-made cities: Gender, sexuality & the urban Seminar (1 hour): The sexualized city: consumer culture and gender Week 4: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Geographies of masculinities Seminar (1 hour): Hegemonic and other masculinities Week 5: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Spaces of fear: Gendered violence & social control Seminar (1 hour): Fear in the city: Understanding everyday urban violence Week 6: Interactive Lecture (1 hour): The personal as political: Situated knowledge and reflective writing Workshop (1 hour): Introducing the reflective diary Week 7: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Reclaiming space: Gender, sexuality and public protest Seminar (1 hour): Gender, sexuality and the right to public space Week 8: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Beyond the binary: Trans geographies Seminar (1 hour): Gender-variant geographies Workshop (1 hour): Writing reflectively Week 9: Interactive Lecture (2 hours): Feminist geopolitics: Gender & sexuality in a global world Seminar (1 hour): The intimate geographies of global power Week 10: Interactive lecture (2 hours): Course summary and exam revision Workshop (1 hour): Exam revision

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

his module will be delivered in three ways: 9 X 2 hour lectures, 1 X 1 hour lecture These will be in a block of two hours each and will be interactive, with time built in for reflection and class discussion. Lectures will introduce students to key theories, concepts and examples. 8 X 1 hour seminars Seminars will be student-led and will provide an opportunity to discuss issues and ideas in greater depth. These are timetabled on a different day from the two-hour lecture in order to give students an opportunity to read any set readings, and prepare answers to any set questions. The seminars will take a variety of different formats: such as group presentations, class debates, and responses to contemporary media stories. Seminars provide essential preparation for the assessment of this module. Students are expected to attend and participate in all seminars; however, reasonable adjustments will be made for students who may be unable to fully participate in class (e.g. due to physical absence or mental health). Students will be offered other ways to participate in class discussions- such as through online discussion boards / personal blogs. 3 X 1 hour workshops The workshops are a place where students can receive formative feedback on their coursework plans. The first workshop will be a general workshop about the coursework, during this session students can share initial ideas and ask questions. The second workshop will focus specifically on writing reflectively: we will share examples and discuss best practice. Workshops are an essential part of the preparation for the assessment, and a chance where students can learn from both their peers and staff.

Practical classes and workshops2
Independent Study120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Bell, D., & Valentine, G. (1995). Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities. 

Duncan, N. (Ed.). (1996). BodySpace: Destabilizing geographies of gender and sexuality.. 

Gorman-Murray, A., & Hopkins, P. (2016). Masculinities and place.. 

Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R (2009). Space, place, and sex: Geographies of sexualities.. 

Tyner, J. A. (2012). Space, place, and violence: Violence and the embodied geographies of race, sex and gender.. 

Hayden, D. (1982). The grand domestic revolution: A history of feminist designs for American homes, neighborhoods, and cities.. 

Hubbard, P. (2013). Cities and sexualities.. 

Rose, G. (1993). Feminism & geography: The limits of geographical knowledge.. 

Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R (2009). A companion to feminist geography. 

Nelson, L., & Seager, J. (Eds.). (2008). A companion to feminist geography.. 



Reflective essay


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Participation 10%
Take-away exam 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings