Religion, Sexuality and Gender

The religious regulation of sexual and gender norms is a phenomenon that has vexed feminists and queer theorists across a multitude of cultural contexts. Often conservative, religious prescriptions of normative gender codes help to shape both individual identities and sexualities, while reinforcing power hierarchies within religious communities and in broader social contexts. Both mainstream and alternative religions have been accused of leaving hetero-normative male privilege unquestioned through the imposition of sexual/gender norms dictating modesty, chastity and where appropriate, sexual servitude for women.

Scholars in this stream have specific interests in the following areas including: critical race feminism (particularly Muslim feminist scholarship); religious cultures and gendered violence; religion, spirituality and women's reproductive health; post-secularisation and its impact on same sex marriage legislation; and religion, anthropology and the intersections of gender and sexuality.

Current research projects within this stream include an exploration, by Associate Professor Alphia Possamai-Inesedy of the impact of mainstream religions on social policies relating to prenatal genetic technologies, as well as a research project with Professor Bryan Turner on post-secularisation and same sex marriage.  Dr Selda Dagistanli's research into infamous group sexual abuse cases perpetrated by Muslim men in Sydney and Rochdale, has resulted in her monograph, Trialling Culture, Protecting Women: Racialising Sexual Violence in Legal and Political Discourses, (forthcoming, Ashgate) .

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