Faculty of Arts


Making Sex: Modern Histories of Sex

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for HISTORY 206.


The terms heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, sadist, masochist – indeed sexuality itself – all date from the late nineteenth century, the era of sexology. Using examples from North America and Europe, this course explores the formation of modern sexualities from the late nineteenth century onwards, with particular focus on the construction of homosexual and heterosexual identities and the modern privileging of sex. The course examines the historical context and significance of these constructions over time.

Topics include: Sexology; Homosexuality; Working-class leisure and sex; Sex Education; Studying Sex; Sex Surveys; Sex in the Archives; Lesbianism; Pornography; The Sexual Revolution; Representing AIDS; Queer studies; and Trans histories.

Although Stage two and three lectures will be held concurrently, and students from both stages will each be asked to take a turn in helping to facilitate lectorial discussion, there are significant variations between the two versions of the course. Different forms of assessment are required and more challenging essay readings have been set for Stage three. Separate lectorials will be arranged for each stage. HISTORY 206 students will be expected to engage with lectorial readings and to begin exploring the historiography surrounding course topics. HISTORY 306 students will be expected to show a greater level of familiarity with historiographical and theoretical issues. In general, the courses have been designed with the differing requirements and academic expectations of history courses at intermediate and senior undergraduate level closely in mind. Stage two students sit an exam; Stage three students write a third essay.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Professor Barry Reay


Coursework + exam


HISTORY 206: 15.0 points


15 points at Stage I in History and 30 points passed



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