SP331      Half Unit
Sexuality, Everyday Lives and Social Policy in Developing Countries

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Timothy Hildebrandt OLD 2.56


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is only available to third year undergraduate students. 


Course content

This course aims to analyse and understand the way social policies deploy sexuality categories in regulating everyday life in developing countries, both in its public and private manifestations.

Sexuality is a central part of human experience. Institutions created to deal with human life/wellbeing have considered sexuality as one of the reference points from which to regulate social relations. Perceptions on sexuality are formed in the intersection of socio-political, historical processes and everyday practises in particular societies. Particular perceptions of sexuality in turn influence the way people negotiate access to resources to address their wellbeing.

In some central areas of social policy sexuality is used as one of the sorting mechanisms (in addition to gender, race among various other categories) to establish entitlements for resources (social, political and economic). In this regard social policy is both informed by perceptions on sexuality and in turn social policy acts as a mechanism of social reproduction of these perspectives impacting people’s lives. And while globally high profile cases and rights abuses related to sexuality are important, a narrow global policy focus on these overlooks how more embedded and diverse social policy practices related to sexuality are impacting people’s lives in many developing countries. 

This course aims to explore sexuality and its importance for social policy for developing countries. It aims to consider social policy and particular interventions in their historical contexts, as a way of unpacking the construction of sexuality in the intersection of colonialism, gender, race, class and international policy frameworks in developing countries.

The course also aims to interrogate the relationship between particular social policy prescriptions developed in most industrialized welfare societies and the way some of these are transferred to developing countries. The major concern of the analysis is to bring out the perceptions of sexuality that underwrite these policies and how these interact with existing perceptions of sexualities and their performances (identities, desires and bodily practices) in multiple developing country contexts. These policy areas include, among others, discussions of rights, entitlements, citizenship, same-sex marriage, sexually transmitted disease, HIV/AIDS, family policies, migration/border controls, criminality and employment-related policies.


Courses in Social Policy follow the Teaching Model outlined on the following page: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy


All teaching will be in accordance with the LSE Academic Code (https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/lse-academic-code) which specifies a "minimum of two hours taught contact time per week when the course is running in the Michaelmas and/or Lent terms". Social Policy courses are predominantly taught through a combination of in-person Lectures and In person classes/seminars. Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.


This course is taught in LT.


The course will be delivered in Lent term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Students will be required to apply their understanding of both theoretical frameworks and issues related to sexualities and social policies in a formative essay.


Indicative reading

  • Aggleton, P., Boyce, P. and Moore, H. (2012) Understanding Global Sexualities: New Frontiers. London: Routledge;
  • Butler, J. (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge;
  • Canaday, M. (2009) The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship. Princeton university Press; Cornwall, A., Corrêa, S. and Jolly, S. (2008)
  • Development with a Body: Sexuality, Human Rights and Development. London: Zed Book;
  • Correa, S., Petchesky, R. and Parker, R. (2008) Sexuality, Health and Human Rights. London: Routledge;
  • De La Dehesa, R. (2012) Queering the Public Sphere in Mexico and Brazil: Sexual Rights Movements in Emerging Democracies. Duke University Press;
  • Reid, G. and Walker, L. (2005) Men Behaving Differently: South African Men since 1994. Doubleday books;
  • Richey, L. A. (2008) Population Politics and Development: From the policies to the Clinics. London: Palgrave;
  • Stoler, A. L. (2002) Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. University of California Press;
  • Tamale, S. (2011) African Sexualities: A Reader. Pambazuka Press.

Additional readings for each week are available on Moodle.


Policy memo (100%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: 15

Average class size 2021/22: 8

Capped 2021/22: Yes (15)

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

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Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills