Rewriting the rules of love, sex and gender

Meg's book 'Rewriting the Rules' suggests that some of the rules that we receive about relationships can do more harm than good. Mainstream media, for example, often presents an ideal which is very difficult for real relationships to match up to.

This talk takes a super quick tour through three key aspects of relationships - love, sex and gender - to consider ways in which these rules might be rewritten in more helpful ways.

First we'll explore the ideal love relationship and the way that this varies over time and across culture. What would it be like if we questioned the hierarchy which makes romantic relationships the most important ones?

Then we'll look at the expectation that relationships will be sexual in certain ways. What would it look like if we accepted a continuum of sexual desire and variation in sexual practices?

 Finally we'll turn to gender. Mainstream self-help books and magazines claim that men and women are from different planets, but the recent move by Facebook to recognise multiple genders suggests that it is more complex than that. What might everyone gain from expanding the gender rules?

Presentation time: 
Tuesday, 1 July, 2014 - 19:30

Meg Barker

Dr. Meg Barker is a senior lecturer in the psychology department at the Open University and chairs the main level 2 counselling course. Meg is also a qualified therapist and a regular blogger on the OU Society Matters blog.