Gender, Sexuality and Forms of Living Arrangement

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Contact Hours: 25

Self Study Hours: 75

Assessment Hours: 25


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module will expand on the concepts of gender and sexuality and the issues emanating from them, for instance, gender identities, gender roles, gender inequality, and feminism. Expansion of these issues will extend to the different forms that intimate relationships, families and living arrangements are taking in modern and postmodern societies. The evolution of the family and marriage, including the functions of, and the roles within, the family will also be covered.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a) Differentiate between the concepts of sex, gender and sexuality and comprehend the associations between them;

b) Develop projects on the issue of gender equality among social studies students;

c) Critically evaluate different forms of families and living arrangements in a comprehensive and objective way;

d) Convey the diversity of families, households and living arrangements in social studies lessons via group discussions. 


a) Demonstrate understanding of studies on sexuality, gender identities and gender relations such as those of A. Kinsey, R. Connell, and M. Mac an Ghaill;

b) Comprehend the feminist movement and its different forms (such as liberal, radical, socialist, ‘black’) and the waves of feminism (first-, second-, third- and fourth-wave);

c) Identify national and international sexual diversity movements, such as MGRM and ILGA

d) Examine the changes in intimate relationships, the increase in family diversity, the changing functions of the family, and changing gender roles and applying them to the Maltese situation (such as those of A. Giddens, M. Young and P. Willmott, A. Oakley, and R. & R. Rapaport);

e) Demonstrate understanding of laws related to the family and living arrangements, such as the divorce, cohabitation, civil union, gay-adoption and same-sex marriage laws in Malta and other countries.


a) Discuss issues of gender and sexuality in an ‘open’ and objective manner;

b) Comment objectively and critically on the changes in the structure of the family;

c) Evaluate the diverse range of intimate relationships and living arrangements vis-à-vis changes in laws and changes in norms and values. 

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1) Abela, A., 2016. Family Life. In Briguglio, M. and Brown, M. eds. Sociology of the Maltese islands. Gutenberg Press Ltd Malta pp. 17-48
2) Baldacchino, G. 2011. Introducing social studies: a Maltese reader. 4th edn. Miller Distributors Ltd Malta
3) Cutajar, J. et al., 2016. Gender and sexuality. In Briguglio, M. and Brown, M. eds. Sociology of the Maltese islands. Gutenberg Press Ltd Malta pp. 151-176
4) McCarthy, J. R. and Edwards, R. 2010. Key concepts in family studies. Sage London
5) Rahman, M. and Jackson, S., 2010. Gender and sexuality: sociological approaches. Polity 


Supplementary Reading List
1) Cheal, D., 2008. Families in today’s world: a comparative approach. Routledge New York
2) Connell, R., 2009. Gender: in world perspective. 2nd edn. Polity Cambridge
3) Giddens, A., 1993. The transformation of intimacy: love, sexuality and eroticism in modern societies. Polity Cambridge
4) Kinsey, A. C., 1948. Sexual behaviour in the human male. W. B. Saunders Philadelphia
5) Kinsey, A. C., 1953. Sexual behaviour in the human female. W. B. Saunders Philadelphia
6) Mac an Ghaill, M., 1994. The making of men: masculinities, sexualities and schooling. Open University Press Buckingham
7) Oakley, A., The sociology of housework. Martin Robertson Oxford.


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