• Class Number 4113
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Mary Rasmussen
    • Mary Rasmussen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

How are gendered identities shaped by society? How are our identities formed by but also resistant to cultural norms of masculinity and femininity? How is gender related to sexual difference? How do gender relations intersect with race, class and sexuality? This course gives an accessible and lively introduction to Gender Studies. It introduces key concepts of gender, sexuality, and gender presentation, and the social aspects of gender.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of key ideas in gender studies through oral and written discussion;
  2. identify, evaluate and select relevant sources in gender and sexuality studies;
  3. analyse and apply theories of gender, sexuality and identity; and
  4. write cogently and critically about issues related to gender and sexuality.

Research-Led Teaching

Lectures will run for first four weeks alongside workshops. In weeks 5-12 there will be no lectures, only seminars.

Seminars will be interactive. Students will work with tutors and peers to undertake research on each topic in highly interactive tutorials. Students will participate to co-create seminar content and to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Required Resources

Required readings for this course can be accessed through the Wattle site.

Please note that the course Wattle site will be a key resource for students and one of the main ways your teachers will communicate with you. On Wattle you will find: the links to required readings, supplementary readings and other resources such as videos, detailed information on assessment and any announcements related to the course. Please check Wattle frequently, including the notice board.

A note on course content

The Nature of Class Sessions*:

Learning is an active process in which we will all participate. Active learning implies the importance of understanding and experiencing ideas as they relate to our own lives, rather than reciting a list of facts. This course should provide us with plenty of material upon which to reflect as we consider the pervasive influence of gender on personal identity and social structures. This active process is continually evolving with no clear beginning or end. Hence, this course should become a dialogue between all of us as we reflect upon the material presented and its relevance to our experiences. Such a conversation includes responsibilities to which we must all agree. Clearly, one initial responsibility involves being in class regularly. However, merely being in class is not enough to create a climate in which we can all learn. Being prepared for class is an additional commitment that is necessary from each of us. The nature of the material presented invites critical reflection of the ideas and a willingness to share our insights and perspectives on personal and potentially controversial issues. Moreover, because you will be expected to examine your own behaviour and because the issues may be controversial, there may be moments of discomfort or emotional reaction for some of you. You are encouraged to allow yourself to be “uncomfortable” in those times of discomfort, to keep an open mind, and to explore concepts more deeply in those instances. A final, and vitally important, responsibility involves a willingness to be open to and consider the thoughts and ideas of others in the classroom. If there are 50 of us in the room, there will be at least that many different perspectives. You may not agree with the views expressed by others in the course, but we must all agree to respect each individual’s rights to have and share their own experiences. I also encourage you to discuss your feelings with your tutor in private if you are unable to do so in class. (*Adapted from text written by Dr. Jessica Kratzer)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Students will receive individual written feedback on the Case Study
  • Students will receive informal feedback on discussion contributions during the tutorials
  • Students will receive verbal feedback as a group throughout the semester
  • Students are able to meet with the convenor or their tutor by appointment to receive one on one feedback

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Guide to emailing your lecturer/tutor

When emailing your lecturer or tutor in relation to the course, please:

Include GEND1001 in the subject of your email.

Include your name (not just student number) and tutorial time if relevant.

Make the text brief and specific (for example, if you are asking about an assessment item make sure you identify it clearly).

Read the course outline and other info on Wattle.

We are happy to receive emails from students who have queries about the course but not happy when the email requests information that is available on Wattle or in the course guide. Please spend some time looking for information before sending a message. We aim to respond to email within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays). If we do not respond to your email within a couple of days please send again.

Assessment Tasks

Please note that all assessment tasks must be completed in order to pass the course. Essays and papers should be referenced using the Harvard system. A guide is available on the Wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 What is Gender Studies
2 Doing Gender
3 Sexed Biologies
4 Sexuality and Sexual Practices
5 Sex, Gender, Sexuality and Variations of Sexual Characteristics Assessment 1: Case Study Due 12 April 1800 words 40%
6 The Colonial Project of Gender
7 Second Wave Feminist History
8 Reproduction and Sexual Health
9 Sexual Desire
10 Gender, Sex and Masculinities
11 How does gender feel? Participation Portfolio - Submitted Friday 17th May in Week 11
12 Remaking gender/sex/sexuality Short Answer Questions - Due Friday 24th May

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Case Study 40 % 12/04/2024 1,2,3,4
Short Answer Questions 50 % 24/05/2024 1,2,3,4
Participation Portfolio and Self-Assessment Sheet 10 % 17/05/2024 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 12/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Case Study

Case Study: Australian Census Assessment Task (1800 words)


Description: Changes are being proposed for the next Australian census in relation to questions around sex, gender, sexuality, and variations in sexual characteristics. We want you to find a person (it may be somebody from an older generation; someone from a different community; a work colleague; a friend or neighbour) and communicate with them about why you think people are advocating for these changes.  You will develop a text which you can share with a participant (who you recruit) so you can educate them about the census and related concepts from the course. You will need to draw on concepts used in course readings in terms that make sense to this person.


Provide the text (with definitions and links to relevant resources) to the participant prior to the interview. It might help them to prepare; this is also good practice. In academic research participants are routinely provided with interview questions in advance. To complete this task, in the text you will need to:


·      explain distinctions between sex, gender, sexuality and variations in sexual characteristics;

·      use resources (e.g., Australian Bureau of Statistics explainers; newspaper reports, course readings, podcasts) to explain the above concepts to the person you have selected;

·      move beyond providing textbook definitions and give people some context so they can understand why these changes are being proposed now; and

·      consider the challenges in implementing the changes.


Think about the challenges of communicating these changes to people who have not been exposed to thinking about sex, gender and sexuality beyond the binary and who may not understand variations in sexual characteristics.


Part 1: Create a text (approx. 800 words) that you can use to structure the conversation. The text must be submitted as part of the assessment and include:


·      A context for the changes, e.g., why now; examples of other countries that have made changes. (This should be well researched – and include relevant citations as a reference list and with hyperlinked citations for your participant to easily access; point to more than one country context; and include a succinct history of debates about the changes in Australia and overseas);


·      An explanation of distinctions between sex, gender, sexuality, and variations in sexual characteristics drawing on relevant research;


·      Include links to relevant resources (e.g., Australian Bureau of Statistics explainers; newspaper reports, course readings, podcasts, definitions of key terms produced by LGBTQIA+ community organisations) in the text; and


·      A format that is informative, accessible and promotes discussion.


Part 2: Reflect on the conversation and consider challenges associated with changing the census (approx. 1000 words)


1.    A description of the participant and how and why they were recruited;


2.    Highlight understandings /misunderstandings arising in the interview and explain any changes you would make in retrospect to address misunderstandings drawing on relevant research;


3.    Identify any issues raised about the census and related categories you hadn’t anticipated; and,


4.    Drawing on relevant research identify at least two challenges related to making the Australian census more inclusive in relation to sex, gender, sexuality and variations relating to sexual characteristics. (Be sure to also consider how another country has made changes related to sex/gender/sexuality and variations in sexual characteristic).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Short Answer Questions

Assessment 3 Short Answer Questions

Due: Friday 24th May, 2024

4 x 500 word answers (50%)

Examining content in second half of course

2000 words

Due Friday, 24th May 2024 at 11pm 50% 


·      Place your name on the first page.

·      Be sure to list the question you are responding at the top of each page.

·      Include references used at the end of each question, not at the end of the document.

·      You may use any accepted referencing system (e.g. Harvard).

·      Double space the document.

·      The questions must be typed in 12 point font, Times New Roman or similar font,


When: Due Friday, 24th May 2024 at 11pm 50% 

What: You are expected to develop your own argument and draw on a range of sources and ideas. This is a formal piece of writing; answers need an introduction, a conclusion and a bibliography in which you list all sources you cite.


You must answer four questions and write approximately 500 words on each.


How: Questions will be provided in Week 11 and will be based around the weekly topics. You cannot answer two questions from the same week’s topic.


Feedback: Written feedback will be available only on request.


NOTE: Your bibliography is not counted towards word count, but your inline citations are.


Content 75%UnsatisfactoryFair to GoodVery GoodExceptional

Answered the question

Topic and key concepts understood clearly

Appropriate research

Clear and consistent argument

Use of evidence to support argument

Critical understanding of literature/texts

Organisation; Style; Presentation

Overall structure

logic and coherence of sentences and paragraphs

writing style (inc. conciseness)



Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 17/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Participation Portfolio and Self-Assessment Sheet

What: Class participation is required to complete the course as participation is one of the assessment tasks. Classes are an important space to discuss readings and ideas from the course in a supportive environment with your peers and tutor. The tutorials and workshops will be predominantly student lead and we will experiment with a wide range of activities. There is a strong focus on listening to peers. We will ask you to self-assess your overall participation each week. Each week keep track of observations you have about readings, questions you want clarified, and contributions you are making in class activities.

When: A completed participation sheet is due on 17 May, 2024, 11pm - submitted via Turnitin using word document on Wattle

How: Your participation will be graded and will count for 10% of the total mark for the course.

If you have an unavoidable appointment at the same time as your assigned class, you must make arrangements with your tutor to attend another class. If you genuinely have to miss a class , you may write an additional 300-word reading summary in lieu of attendance. However this must be arranged in advance of the, not after the class has been missed. If you miss more than three classes without explanation this will significantly affect your ability to pass this piece of assessment.

Assessment Criteria:

The following criteria will be taken into consideration:

Demonstration of preparation (i.e. completed the reading and demonstrated reflection upon it);

Demonstration of understanding of or engagement with the topic;

Raising relevant questions, points and challenges; and

Listening actively and responding to others in a constructive fashion.

More detailed information on tutorial participation assessment and hints on how to participate effectively are available on Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assessments submitted online will be graded and returned online.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not permitted unless stated in the specific assessment information sheet (available on wattle).

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Mary Rasmussen

Research Interests

Queer Kinship; Climate and Reproduction; Gender, Sex and Sexuality Education; Feminist and Queer Theory;

Mary Rasmussen

By Appointment
By Appointment
Mary Rasmussen

Research Interests

Mary Rasmussen

By Appointment
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions