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SCY2812 - Sociology of Reproduction

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Not offered in 2007


The unit introduces students to a sociological understanding of human reproduction, with a focus on current debates around choice and rights. In the Australian context, the focus is on the impact of medicalisation and reproductive technologies on the processes of having, trying to have and trying not to have babies. The social construction of parenthood is also considered in terms of the myths and realities of motherhood and the changing role of fathers. In the overseas context, the focus is on the role of the state and religion in promoting or prohibiting contraception and abortion, on population policies and 'family planning' options, and their impact on the lives of women.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of mainstream and feminist sociological perspectives to the study of human reproduction;
  2. Understand the role of medicine, the state and organised religion in the regulation and control of reproduction, and how such control impacts on the ability of individuals, especially women, to make choices about their reproductive lives;
  3. Critically engage with current debates around reproductive rights through identifying the interests and assumptions underlying the different positions;
  4. Understand the impact of medical technology on the social relations of reproduction, including the social construction of parenthood;
  5. Apply their sociological knowledge to their own lives in a reflexive way; and
  6. Demonstrate skills in communication and presentation of material.
In addition, students completing the unit SCY3812 at
third level will be able to:
  1. Develop theoretical frameworks appropriate to a sociological explanation of human reproduction.


Two assignments (1350 words each): 60%
Assignment (1800 words): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


SCY1801 and SCY1802 or equivalents


GSC2207 and GSC3207 (at 8 credit points only), GSC3212, GSC2212, SCY3812