Critical Psychology & Sexual Violence


Start Date: Spring 2019

Definitions & Diagnoses

Part Two  - 4 weeks


A critical look at how psychology defines sexual violence and abuse.

Sexual abuse can lead to a wide range of emotional responses. It is also a prevalent social problem impacting on every kind of person or community. However, training on the psychology of sexual violence can be limited to a pessimistic and pathologizing view of victims as 'disordered' individuals and perpetrators as acting out 'natural' masculine aggression. Few courses offer a comprehensive and critical look at psychology and sexual violence or offer alternatives to this narrow and problematic view.

What will I learn?

This course examines the way that psychology frames sexual violence. It uses discourse analysis to critique clinical, forensic, evolutionary, and biological psychologies. It includes an interrogation of the gender binary and opens up discussion of how rape impacts on individuals of all genders - including trans, non-binary, and intersex individuals. It gives you a comprehensive overview of the many theories of sexual violence in psychology and demonstrates the problems and limitations of each. You are then introduced to alternatives to pathologizing perspectives. This course will help you to understand the conflicting research and theories around sexual violence and abuse within psychology. It will show you some of the ways to help victims and survivors without framing them as 'abnormal'. 

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for those wanting to know more about critical perspectives in psychology regarding sexual violence, such as postgraduate students, researchers and academics looking to continue their professional development, and those with lived experience and/or are self taught. For students wanting to take the course as their independent study for their university program, please get in touch.

How is the course taught?

The course is 100% online and delivered via a mix of video lectures, interactive discussions and seminars, one-to-one Skype sessions with the Professor, and includes a range of helpful downloadable resources, such as our Critical Psychology & Sexual Violence Handbook. See our FAQ for more information. 

Cost: $990 CAD per participant


Students receive a certificate from The Psygentra Institute after finishing the course.

Sign up to be notified of the next course date.

Check out Part One - Critical Discursive Psychology here

Check out Part Three - Victims & Perpetrators here

Or study all three together in our Specialist Course

Meet the Professor

Dr. Jemma Tosh specializes in research and teaching on psychology, sexual violence, and gender. She has published two books, Perverse Psychology: The Pathologization of Sexual Violence and Transgenderism (Routledge, 2015) and Psychology and Gender Dysphoria: Feminist and Transgender Perspectives (Routledge, 2016). She is currently writing her next book on sexual violence in medical contexts, due to be released in 2018. 


Jemma has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on gender and sexuality, and has been interviewed by The Guardian, BBC World, and The Psychologist about her work. She was an Editor for the Psychology of Women Section Review for several years, and is now Editor of Psygentra's Journal of Psychology, Gender, & Trauma


Jemma has taught qualitative and creative research methods at Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Chester, and Simon Fraser University. She was trained in qualitative methods and critical psychology at the Manchester Discourse Unit, is a Fellow of the Critical Institute: Centre for Critical Psychology, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

From Jemma's Students

"...despite her status as an internationally renowned author and scholar, when I reached out to Dr. Tosh to say how much I appreciated her work, what I found was a warm, compassionate, and approachable person, who goes above and beyond to support ALL women" - Diana, Sarnia, Canada

"Jemma Tosh went beyond her remit to give me an excellent education: a fearless woman who doesn't back down from bullies; showed me my own worth and didn't allow me to believe there are limits on what I'm capable of. An actual role model who truly changed my world..." Kerrie, London, UK

"Jemma helped to give me desperately needed confidence in my work, and light a passion for the more creative and social side of psychology. Her faith in my abilities, and pushing me towards a presentation made me so proud of myself and my work for the first time during my degree. I can’t thank her enough for all her encouragement and help during that time. She became, and remains, a bit of a role model to me, and it was simply a privilege to meet her." Laura, Manchester, UK

"...Jemma made psychology exciting in a really relatable way and gave me an outlet to explore things that are important to me! She also gave me a background in a research method that few others have done! So yeah, a big, big thank you to you!" - Amy, Nottingham, UK