Sexual Agency


From government incentives for women to have more children and the ‘slut-shaming’ phenomenon, to the erasure of rights and legal recognition of LGBTIQ++ people, and beyond, we live in a time where political and social forces play a powerful role in regulating our sexuality and sexual behaviour. It is therefore necessary and timely to consider how sexuality is related to our agency as human beings, particularly in terms of how autonomy and self-determination shape and are shaped by sex and sexuality. The concept of sexual agency is fraught with complication, both in terms of how it is understood and expressed. On one hand, sexual agency can be constructed in ways that enforce systemic inequities and violence against those whose sexual agency defies narrow cultural norms. On the other hand, sexual agency can be constructed in ways that result in progressive change to institutions, laws and social mores. Understanding the complexities of sexual agency requires further examination of how it is conceptualised and manifested within and across various communities, cultures, and contexts. Exploring sexual agency raises a host of questions, including how it is related to the concept of sexual autonomy, what it means to have, obtain, be denied, or lose sexual agency; how sexual agency is contextual; whose sexual agency is respected; and how queer, trans, and those with other marginalised sexual or gender identities navigate sexual agency.

These issues will be the focus of the Sexuality and Agency project. These inclsuive interdisciplinary activities provides a space for participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and practices to share their work and learn from the perspectives being shared. The project aims to build connections across professions and communities to discuss and explore research and activity relating to the relationship between sexuality and agency; to identify areas to be subsequently explored in further depth; and to generate collaborative action that will lead to change in the inequitable ways that sexual agency is constructed, enforced, and maintained.


Sexuality and Agency
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Saturday 12th October 2019 – Sunday 13th October 2019
Vienna, Austria

Call for papers, presentations and participation now active.