Module Leader: Chris Ashford
LAW & SEXUALITY
Welcome to Law & Sexuality. The module seeks to explore contemporary theories of sexuality
and to undertake a selective investigation of the ways in which sexuality has been posed and
addressed as a problem in law through socio-legal analysis.
Unlike many of the modules you will have studied to date, this module will be taught over
twelve workshops and a field trip to Newcastle with the possibility of trips to Manchester and
San Francisco. The emphasis of each workshop is on interaction and jointly exploring ideas. You
are encouraged to come having researched a topic, with questions and opinions to share and
explore with the wider group. The field trips will allow you to apply knowledge to the wider
community in which you inhabit and explore academic concepts through physical space.
The subjects of sex and sexuality can often make people feel a little uncomfortable and you will
be explored to sexual imagery and themes throughout this course. All views are welcomed and
within the space of the workshop whilst respectful debate is encouraged and required.
The question that many people ask at the start of a module is ‘how much work are we expected
to do on this subject?’ Or, even more difficult, ‘how much time should we spend on this subject
We can’t tell you how long it will take you to acquire understanding of the subject. We can offer
some general advice: be selective in your reading; take notes which are notes, and not a copious
copying-out of whole chapters of books. But only you know when you feel you have grasped the
subject matter. If you find yourself completely bemused by what’s going on in classes, it may be
that you are not doing enough reading. On the other hand, if you feel confident that you can
understand and cope with class discussions you are probably doing enough.
Most importantly, don’t forget that we’re here to help and support you so please send me an
email or drop by my office if you are struggling and want to have a chat. Similarly, if you want
to talk further about the ideas and themes in workshops I’m always enthusiastic to carry on our
discussions over a coffee at the end of a workshop.
I hope you enjoy the module.
Reg Vardy Building, Faculty of Business and Law
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE 20010/11
There are no pre-written tasks/questions for you to prepare prior to a workshop. However, you
are expected to have read the recommended reading and be prepared to engage in discussions
drawing upon, and citing where appropriate that material and relevant law.
On occasion, you may also be required to prepare for a debate or a piece of
drama/performance. Where this is the case you will be told in a prior workshop. The table
below is intended to give you a guide as to the order of topics to be covered however the pace
and exact content will evolve and flow according to the direction of the group in workshops.
1 Introduction to the Module;
Finding Material; Constructing
Sexuality and introduction to
You will be introduced to the structure,
philosophy and content of the module.
2 Queer Theory and Queer Space This workshop introduces the material
that will underpin the module.
3 Queer Space and the North East:
Newcastle Field Trip
The Newcastle meeting location will be
agreed in the previous workshop and
details posted on SunSpace.
You should come wearing comfy shoes
and be prepared to walk gently for
around two hours. You will be provided
with handouts at the start of the field
trip so you should bring something to
carry them in.
4 Identity Politics, Safety and Queer
This workshop reflects on the previous
workshops and the field trips and will
also involve some performance..
5 Visual Representation of Sex and
the Sex Wars: The Porn Workshop
This workshop introduces porn, its legal
regulation and theoretical approaches
to porn. It will include pornographic
images and movies.
6 Beyond ‘On Me, Not in Me’:
Bareback Sex and the Quest for
This workshop builds on the previous
workshop and explores the bareback
7 The Quest for Hope: From Castro
to Hollywood via the Court House –
Historical perspectives on Legal
This workshop will include drama
performance from Emily Mann’s play
‘Execution of Justice’. You will be
Responses to (Homo)sexuality allocated roles in the previous
8 Selling Sex: Identities, Sex Work
This workshop explores the
phenomenon and legal regulation of sex
9 “I wanna Be Just Like You”: Same
Sex Marriage and the Queer
One the most dominant debates in
recent law and sexuality discourse is the
subject of gay marriage. This workshop
explores the gay marriage debate.
10 Gender and the Law The module shifts its focus to gender
and law in this workshop, exploring
concepts such as ‘gender fuck’.
11 Paedophilia, Inter-generational Sex
and Man/Boy Love
This workshop draws together much of
the theory that has been explored
during the module to examine what it
perhaps one of the most controversial
aspects of sexuality.
12 Module wrap up A space and opportunity to ‘trouble-
shoot’ any outstanding issues on the
There is no single recommended purchase for the course but three books will be of particular
use. These are all available in electronic format so everyone can access the texts for free via the
library catalogue page: http://prism-01.sunderland.ac.uk/TalisPrism/
The texts are:
Les Moran (1996) The Homosexual(ity) of Law.
Martha Albertson Fineman et al (eds) (2009) Feminist and Queer Legal Theory.
Vanessa Munro and Carl Stychin (eds) (2007) Sexuality and the Law.
There are also limited numbers of hardcopies in the library. You can of course purchase the
texts if you so wish from the usual bookstores. You should expect to pay between £25 and £30
for each text.
The module has its own page on Facebook which you are encouraged to join so you can take
part in discussions and exchange information. The group is called LAW326 Law and
Sexuality Module Page
Chris tweets via http://twitter.com/lawandsexuality primarily on issues relating to law and
sexuality but also general random thoughts.
The module is also supported by a blog available at www.lawandsexuality.blogspot.com The
blog has a search box at the top of the screen allowing you to search for a range of text, audio
and video resources. There is also the opportunity to add your own comments. These can be
done in a name, alias or anonymously. The blog also has links to other resources. You are urged
to check the blog regularly. The blog also integrates Twitter and Audioboo and these links can
also be found on SunSpace.
The blog also includes an extensive list of links to other resources.
FURTHER READING/READING FOR WORKSHOPS
There is an expectation that in advance of a workshop you will read relevant materials (the
broad area will be set out in the pre-ceding workshop). You should then consult a range of
books and journals to explore that area. The library catalogue will be invaluable in locating
these materials. Putting in terms such as ‘sexuality law’, and ‘sex law’ in keywords will bring up
a host of the more general Law and Sexuality texts. Many of which are available as e-books and
most are at the St Peter’s Campus. Other more specific subjects such as sex work/prostitution
will also have various materials but many of these will be at Murray Library. If you don’t want to
travel to Murray, the book will be brought over and be available to pick up from St Peter’s if you
sue the ‘reservation’ service.
You also have access to every book that has been published via Inter-library loans. Forms are in
the library and you should allow some time (typically 1-2 weeks) for the book to arrive.
Journals are also vitally important. In addition to Lexis and Westlaw you should also familiarise
yourself with Sage, EBSCO, JSTOR, Ingenta and Emerald via www.athens.ac.uk You may prefer
to use the library’s e-journal database but please make sure you’re logged in to my.sunderland
first otherwise it won’t search all the databases. You’ll be using a lot of journals that you might
not have encountered previously – particularly the journal Sexualities. Hard copies of this
journal are also located in St Peter’s Library.
You also have access to the specialist journal Law & Sexuality through Heinonline (which can be
accessed from the law subject resources library page).
If you’re struggling to find material on the subject don’t forget you can also consult with the Law
Subject Librarian (just ask at the St Peter’s library desk).
You will also benefit from a viewing a range of films and tv shows as part of your programme of
study. You are particularly encouraged to view the mini series ‘Angels in America’ (based on the
Tony Kushner play), the film ‘Milk’ and the UK series ‘Queer as Folk’.
Queer as Folk UK is now available for free on 4OD: http://www.channel4.com/4od/index.html
4OD also features a series of documentaries that will be of interest. Videos are also linked to on
SunSpace and within the blog.
DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE
Workshop 4 will involve some of you performing parts from Nicholas de Jongh’s play ‘Plague
Over England’ which chronicles the John Gielgud arrest ‘scandal’. Workshop 7 will include you
taking on roles from the play ‘The Execution of Justice’. Exerts are provided at the end of this
guide but if you would like to read the full play, it is available through most book shops in wider
collections of Emily Mann’s writing (the play on it’s own is available on it’s own from some
second hand book sellers but it’s expensive!). Extracts for ‘Plague Over England’ will also be
provided but the full play is harder tog et hold of due to it’s recent publication. Copies can be
bought via http://stageplays.co.uk/
We will re-create key moments of the dramatisation of the Dan White trial and you are
encouraged to dress in role and approach it very much as a performance. You can find out more
about White by watching the film Milk.
MANCHESTER FIELD TRIP
There will be a visit to Manchester arranged for the October reading week. Details of the cost
(typically £60-£80) will be announced in the first workshop. The trip offers a practical
opportunity to explore the theoretical ideas of ‘queer space’ and ‘performativity’ over this two
day visit focused around Canal Street. You will undertake a walking tour around the city centre
examining history and key socio-legal issues. There will be extensive time for you to plan your
own social activities and details of various bars and clubs (straight/gay/mixed) and alternative
venues will be provided.
SAN FRANCISCO FIELD TRIP
There will also be an opportunity to explore some of
the Manchester themes in more depth in a trip to
San Francisco. The trip will include flights,
accommodation and a tour to explore the Castro
district, the history behind Harvey Milk, the SOMA
leather/sexual deviant space and a range of other
relevant sites. Previous years have included a visit
to the GLBT Society and taken part in a workshop at
the University of San Francisco.
There will also be lots of time to explore the city and its famous sights from the Golden Gate
Bridge through to that icon of penology - Alcatraz. You can read more about the LGBT aspects of
San Francisco at: http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/gaytravel/
The site also links to more general information about the site. A number of guidebooks in the
Time Out, Lonely Planet, Eyewitness and Rough Guide are available from most bookshops for
around £10. Specialist gay guides such as the Spartacus guide are also available.
Reading the Tales of the City novel series by Armistead Maupin may give you a feel for the city
(they begin in the 1970s and progress through the following decades in several installments).
NEWCASTLE FIELD TRIP
Don’t worry if you can’t afford San Francisco or Manchester. We will be taking one field trip
over to Newcastle city centre in a scheduled workshop. This will enable you to explore the Pink
Triangle in Newcastle together with other queer space locations. As with San Francisco and
Manchester you will be using research that has focused upon Newcastle as part of the module
and this is an opportunity to get a feel for the space being discussed.
In addition to the usual end of module feedback
questionnaire, there will be an opportunity to provide
feedback throughout the module via minute papers. These
will be provided in workshops (typically 2 or 3 times during
the module) in order to evaluate how you are progressing
with the module and what your concerns are, along with
discovering what’s working well on the module. Feedback
responses are published on SunSpace and you can view
previous years responses from the same point in the module to find out how your experience
compares with that of previous cohorts.
This course will be supported throughout by SunSpace. Additional course materials, including
PowerPoint slides, handouts and so no will be available along with multimedia materials as
appropriate. You are urged to regularly log on!
The Internet: As part of the course you will inevitably make extensive use of the Internet as a
research tool. However you will be dealing with very sensitive subjects. You should note that
the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 criminalises the possession of ‘violent
pornography’ for the first time and some of the material you may encounter in casual searches
on the subject of sadomasochism may lead you to such material so be sensible in your searches
and if in doubt, leave it out.
Similarly, the subject of inter-generational sex and paedophilia will lead to obvious sites that
you should avoid. Your ISP will be recorded and you can be individually identified. The
USA government regularly monitors traffic to sites such as NAMBLA so you should again
avoid such material and stick to academic focused, mainstream material. You should also be
aware that in a number of cases have found ‘research’ to be no excuse if found in possession of
pornography and should you then save any material you may be also guilty of the more
serious offence of distribution. These offences carry significant custodial sentences.
There will be two essay assignments for this module. Each should be no more than 2,500 words.
One assignment will be released in the first term with submission due after the winter vacation.
The second will be made available in January and should be submitted before the spring
vacation. Details of deadlines, submission standards and the questions will be made available
on SunSpace and you will be notified in workshops. Current university regulations can be
viewed at: www.sunderland.ac.uk/regulations
A feedback/criteria sheet follows. You should consider this when completing your assignments.
TITLE: LAW AND SEXUALITY
FACULTY: Business and Law
MODULE BOARD: LAW
LEARNING HOURS: 200 hours, including 36 contact hours the exact nature of which is specified in
the module guide.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of law and sexuality in a moral, ethical and socio-legal context.
2. Undertake independent research in the area of law and sexuality.
3. Produce a synthesis of relevant doctrine and policy issues from a variety of materials.
4. Express with reasons, personal judgments concerning the concepts and values involved in the study
of law and sexuality and critically evaluate key issues.
This module will seek to explore contemporary theories of sexuality and to undertake a selective
investigation of the ways in which sexuality has been posed and addressed as a problem in law through
TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS:
This module will be delivered through a combination of workshops, field studies and independent study.
The field trips will involve visits to both Sunderland and Newcastle city centres in order to seek to
understand the operation of ‘queer space’. There will also be an opportunity to visit San Francisco. The
workshops will make use of a variety of teaching approaches including didactic delivery, drama
performance, formal debates and group discussion. Use will also be made of audio media in some
workshops. SunSpace will also be used to support teaching and learning throughout the module.
Workshops 10 x 3 hours = 30 hours
Field trips: 2 x 3 hours = 6 hours
Directed/Self-Directed study = 164 hours
This will include directed reading, preparation for seminars and work on assessments
There are two individual written assignments of 2,500 words each which assess all learning outcomes.
Both assignments assess all learning outcomes.
Sequence Assessment Type Marking
Weighting % Qualifying Mark Pass Mark
UCMS 50 1% 40%
UCMS 50 1% 40%
INDICATIVE READING LIST
Bray, A (1982) Homosexuality in Renaissance England, Gay Men’s Press
Burton, P (1995) Amongst the Aliens: Some Aspects of a Gay Life, Millivres Books
Califia, P (1994) Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex, Cleis Press
Crane, P (1982) Gays and the Law, Pluto Press
Devlin, P (1965) The Enforcement of Morals, OUP
Foucoult, M (1981) The History of Sexuality, Vol 1: An Introduction, Routledge
Goodman, J (1995) The Oscar Wilde File, Allison and Busby
Hallam, P (1993) The Book of Sodom, Verso
Humphreys, L (2005) Tearoom trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places, Aldine Transaction
Leap, W.L. (1999) Public Sex: Gay Space, Columbia University Press
Moran, L.J (1996) The Homosexual(ity) of Law, Routledge
Moran, L. and Skeggs, B (2004) Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety, Routledge
Newburn, T (1992) Permission and Regulation: Law and Morals in Post-war Britain, Routledge.
Norton, R (1992) Mother Clap’s Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830, Gay Men’s Press
Sinfield, A (1994) The Wilde Century, Cassell
Smith, B.R (1991) Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics, University of Chicago
Thompson, B (1995) Sadomasochism, Cassell
Weeks, J (1989) Sex, Politics and Society, 2nd
Weeks, J et al (2002) Sexualities and Society: A Reader, Polity Press
Whittle, S (1994) The Margins of the City: Gay Men’s Urban Lives, Arena
Wildeblood, P (1999) Against the Law, Weidenfield & Nicolson
Wintemute, R (1995) Sexual Orientation and Human Rights, Clarendon Press
PROGRAMMES USING THIS MODULE AS CORE/OPTION:
LLB (Hons) – Option
CSP Dual and Minor – Option
BA Business Law (Top-Up) – Option
IS THE PROGRAMME DELIVERED ON OR OFF CAMPUS:
LLB Level 1: On and Off Campus
LLB Level 2/3: On Campus Only
BA Business Law (Top-Up): On Campus Only
CSP: On campus only
WORK BASED LEARNING: No
PRFOESSIONAL ACCREDITATION: Yes – at LLB Programme level
Joint Academic Stage Board (representing the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority and the Bar Standards
MODULE LEADERChris Ashford
Room 216b Reg Vardy Centre
LEAD DELIVERER Chris Ashford
JACS Code: M200