Philosophy of Sex & Sexuality

Listed at ISU as Sex, Values, Human Nature

This course examines the various roles of sex and sexuality in our daily lives. In order to do this, we’ll spend time exploring the interconnections between sex, gender, sexuality, and sexual interactions.

 

The first half of the course focuses on identity, and the constructions of sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and romantic attraction identities. We will start off by examining the complex ways components of identity are constructed through scientific understandings, social norms, and individual self-definitions. Here, we’ll look at traditional conceptions of masculinity and femininity, biological sex differences, gender identities, and sexual identities, and how these identities are both constructed by and play out within our daily lives.

Use your words. Use them hard. Use them all night long. Communication is sexy; consent is mandatory.

The second half of the course focuses on sexual agency: what it is, what inhibits is, and what helps to support it. We will examine the role sexual and romantic interactions can play in a flourishing life. We will discuss various forms of sexual encounters, including practices of monogamy, polyamory, BDSM, and vanilla sex. We look at consent, lack of consent, and sexual violence, but will also look beyond the mere presence of consent to what makes for flourishing and agential sexual encounters. We will pay particular attention to the power of safe words, sexual communication, sexual education, and reproductive justice in supporting and enabling sexual agency.

Dates offered

This course is offered every Spring and ocassional Summers at Illinois State University.

  • Spring 2022, Illinois State University

  • Summer 2021, Illinois State University

  • Spring 2021, Illinois State University

  • Spring 2020, Illinois State University

  • Spring 2019, Illinois State University

  • Fall 2017, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

  • Spring 2015, Georgetown University

  • Summer 2014, Georgetown University

Most recently updated topics & readings
Course video playlist

Philosophy of Sex & Sexuality (PHI 202)

Philosophy of Sex & Sexuality (PHI 202)

Philosophy of Sex & Sexuality (PHI 202)
Foucault & disciplinary power

Foucault & disciplinary power

11:30
Play Video
How Norms of Femininity Act as a Prison

How Norms of Femininity Act as a Prison

07:14
Play Video
The Age of Instagram Face

The Age of Instagram Face

04:36
Play Video