Free course

Sexual orientation and gender identity

Free statement of participation on completion

This free course examines legal approaches to people whose sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to that of the majority. This explores how legal and social/cultural attitudes have changed significantly over time, and demonstrates how much they have changed in recent years. Legal approaches to sexual orientation and gender identity cover a range of different areas of law including criminal, employment and family law. The focus will be on the approach of English law (which generally covers the law applying in both England and Wales), but reference will also be made to the approach in other countries.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • have an understanding as to how the law has developed in its treatment of gays, lesbians and those who have historically been known as ‘transsexuals’, but who are increasingly now referred to as ‘trans people’
  • have an understanding of how societal and cultural attitudes to gays, lesbians and trans people have changed over time
  • have an understanding of how the law and society have largely ignored people with intersex conditions
  • have an appreciation of the way in which different beliefs – including religious, moral and political beliefs – can and do influence social attitudes and the law
  • have experience of weighing up conflicting arguments and arriving at your own reasoned opinion.