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Introduction to Sexuality Studies

Sexuality and gender define what it is to be human: they are at the core of our existence. But how does society define and reinforce these concepts? How do these concepts impact our relationships within society, and what analytical tools have been developed to study their role in social and familial relationships? This three-week summer programme provides an excellent interdisciplinary introduction to the important debates around sexuality and gender in the social sciences. Students will be equipped with the analytical tools to study these themes critically and reflexively. This programme is an ideal opportunity for emerging scholars in the field of sexuality and gender to connect to peers.

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: On-campus (3 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Sunday 16 June - Thursday 4 July 2024 (tentative)
    Housing dates: Friday 14 June - Monday 8 July 2024 (tentative)
    Academic fees:

    Student fee:

    €1750 (tentative) read more about what is included in the fees.

    Professional fee:

    €2000 (tentative) read more about what is included in the fees

    Housing fees: €685 (tentative). Housing is optional. Read more about university-organised accomodation
    Credits: 6 European Credits. Read more about credits and credit transfer.  
    Early admission deadline: Thursday 1 February 2024. Admissions will be processed throughout the year on a rolling basis. 
    Final admission deadline: Friday 15 March 2024
    Who is this programme for?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Students should be in good academic standing to participate in the summer school. For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in sexuality studies. For working professionals with a desire to continue their education in this field.


  • Programme description

    This three-week course explores the historical, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of sexual norms and behaviors. It examines the history of sexuality studies as an emerging discipline in the 19th Century, tracing its development from essentialism to constructivism, as well as the basic concepts of sexuality and gender. Both historical and socio-cultural boundaries of sexual norms and behaviors will be explored, as well as the construction of normativities, such as heterosexuality.

    Attention will be given to the ways in which sexuality has been framed in past and current theoretical frameworks and to the growing movement which advocates for sexual empowerment and sexual rights. The intersection of the discourse on sex work with the discourse on human trafficking and the tensions between sexual pleasure and sexual abuse will be explored by looking at concepts such as sexual empowerment and sexual citizenship. Also the intersections with other relations of power, such as ethnicity, class and migrant status will be discussed.

    In this summer programme, we will study how the above-mentioned concepts impact our relationships within society in myriad ways. Our experienced staff helps students to strengthen their academic identity in both formal and informal sessions. Lectures will be given by our core academic staff, as well as a diverse group of expert guest lecturers. For more information on the academic content, please get in touch with us via email at

  • Academic directors

    Dr. Marie-Louise Janssen is a Cultural Anthropologist and senior lecturer in gender and sexuality studies at the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. She is one of the Academic Directors of the summerschool ‘Introduction to Sexuality Studies’, as well as a module coordinator in the ‘Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society’. Marie-Louise Janssen has published extensively on sex work, migration and human trafficking and lectures in the areas of gender and sexuality studies, migration and human trafficking and ethnographic research methods and techniques at the department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam. Her current research interests include, among others, Chinese massage parlours in the Netherlands, student sex workers and currently sex work in the former Dutch colony of Curacao in the Caribbean region.

    Eddy Chouity (MSc) is a junior lecturer at the bachelor and pre-master sociology program at the University of Amsterdam and is the Associate Academic Director of Introduction to Sexuality Studies. In 2017, he graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a master of science in social sciences from the gender and sexuality track. His dissertation handled the situation of Arab LGBTQI refugees coming from the Middle East and North Africa to the Netherlands. His interest lies at the heart of gender theories and sexualities and his ambition is to pursue a further in-depth exploration of sexuality, with a particular attention to the Arab world. 

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

    Interested in reading an alumni perspective? Read our alumni portrait with Farah Barakat, who attended the course in summer 2017. 

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SPO Video Introduction to Sexuality
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Facts & Figures
6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction
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