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Welcome to week 2

Introduction to week 2 of A Global History of Sex and Gender: Bodies and Power in the Modern World
TANYA CHEADLE: Welcome to week two of A Global History of Sex and Gender. Last week, we looked at gender and power, at the operation of patriarchy, the role played by masculinity, and what trans history can tell us about the contingency of our sexual and gender identities. This week, the theme is sex and intimacy, and how our bodies and their desires have been understood and regulated in past societies. First, we focus on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, using case studies from Scotland and Italy to explore how changes in sexual attitudes and behaviours were instigated and understood in a socially conservative nation. And how one feminist magazine rejected romantic love in favour of a more egalitarian, if idealistic, alternative.
We then move on to queer, or LGBTQ plus history, and the ambiguous legacy of sexology. The late 19th and early 20th century European science of sexuality and how it personifies same-sex desires, while simultaneously providing some with a welcome source of knowledge. Finally, we consider the politics of reproduction. How throughout history, a range of institutions have intervened in individuals and couples reproductive decisions, and of the movements for reproductive rights and justice focused on securing equality of access to contraception, family planning, and abortion.

Welcome to Week 2 of the course!

We hope you enjoyed learning about Gender and Power last week. You should now have a sense of how gender has been constructed and regulated differently in past societies and how historians use concepts such as patriarchy and masculinities to better understand the operation of power.

This week, we turn our attention to Sex and Intimacy. This video introduces some of the topics we are going to explore, including the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ‘70s, LGBTQ+ history and reproductive politics.

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A Global History of Sex and Gender: Bodies and Power in the Modern World

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