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Master of Arts Integrated Studies (MAIS) 628

Gender and Sexuality (Revision 3)

Delivery Mode:Grouped study.


Prerequisite:Completion of MAIS 601 is recommended; others should discuss prior academic experience with the course professor.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Integrated Studies

**Note:Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


MAIS 628: Gender and Sexuality introduces the critical study of gender and sexuality through a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. The course considers the treatment of intersexed individuals by the medical profession and the cultural imperative that there are but two sexes and explores the sex/gender distinction that posits sex (bodies) as natural or biological and gender as social, cultural, political, and experiential. The course invites a critical examination of how notions of sex, gender, and sexuality are culturally produced and explores how disruptions of these cultural expectations can teach us something about the culture within which we live.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. recognize the historical and social changes in the understanding of sex, sexuality, and gender that challenge universalizing discourses
  2. understand how far reaching the impulse to normalize is and how it maintains the male/female binary and the sex/gender/sexuality system
  3. analyze how the normalizing impulse produces social inequality through regimes of power/knowledge
  4. recognize the political importance of understanding those who don’t conform to the sex/gender/sexuality system as members of oppressed groups
  5. realize that gender and sexuality are not homogenous groupings and that they are confounded by other axes of difference
  6. appreciate how queer can expose taken-for-granted norms of a culture and, in doing so, be a perspective from which learning can happen
  7. recognize opportunities to take up queer as a diagnosis of culture as you engage media and other representations and, in doing, so, subvert the sex/gender/sexuality system

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for this course, students must participate in the online activities, successfully complete the assignments, and achieve a final mark of at least 60 per cent. Students should be familiar with the Master of Arts—Integrated Studies grading system. Please note that it is students' responsibility to maintain their program status. Any student who receives a grade of "F" in one course, or a grade of "C" in more than one course, may be required to withdraw from the program.

The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weights associated with them.

Activity Weighting
Online Posting 20%
Essay 1 40%
Essay 2 40%
Total 100%

Course Materials

The course materials for MAIS 628: Gender and Sexuality include the items listed below.


  • Anne Fausto-Sterling. 2000. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York: Basic Books.
  • Michel Foucault. 1990. The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction. New York and Toronto: Random House.

Athabasca University Online Materials

Course Home Page: You will find Course Information (including the Assignment File and other pertinent information) at the top of the course home page. You will also find your Study Guide presented unit by unit online. You will find your assignments and links to submit your work to your professor on the course home page.

Athabasca University Library: Students are encouraged to browse the Library's Web site to review the Library collection of journal databases, electronic journals, and digital reference tools:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, January 6, 2014.

Last updated by MAIS; 08/05/2014 13:51:13