Sexuality, parenthood and population
Sexuality, parenthood and population

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Sexuality, parenthood and population

Sexuality, parenthood and population

Introduction

Sexuality and parenthood encompass some of the most ordinary and yet most profound experiences that life has to offer. Until recently these two domains were intricately linked, and the idea that it is possible and desirable to have sex solely for pleasure without risk of pregnancy or having children is a relatively new one. This split between sexuality and parenthood has come about through a myriad of interlinking social changes, including shifting social relations and attitudes to sexuality, and widening access to reliable contraception and legal abortion.

In this course we look back at a time when sexual practices leading to conception were the norm, when the risk of pregnancy was an integral part of heterosexual sexualities, and when heterosexual sexuality and parenthood were inextricably connected. We will examine these interrelationships through the phenomenon known as the fertility decline, when couples in increasingly significant numbers deliberately began to limit the number of children in their families. We will draw upon a feminist theoretical perspective which places gender divisions and constructions of heterosexuality at the centre of its analysis. Class, ethnicity and other divisions are also integral to social policy and personal lives, sexuality and parenthood, and they will be explored to some extent. However, it is inequalities of gender that are highlighted and developed most fully.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Social sciences [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

DD305_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus