Human Sexuality

Course Number: PSY 232
Transcript Title: Human Sexuality
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: January 22, 2016
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Explores sexual issues from scientific and humanistic perspectives. Surveys sexuality through the life cycle, sexual problems, sexual satisfaction, contraception, conception, sexuality and disability, sex and chronic illness, sexually transmitted infections, sexual victimization, atypical sexual behavior, and the commercialization of sex. This is the second course in a two course sequence. Recommended: PSY 231 taken before PSY 232. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  1. Enhance relationships with sexual partners and the community through knowledge of biological, psychological and cultural milestones in human sexual development.
  2. Effectively manage sexual problems and develop broader understanding of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities that impact sexual functioning.
  3. Make informed decisions about contraception, abortion, pregnancy and the birthing process through knowledge of human reproduction, psychosocial and cultural factors.
  4. Implement safer sex practices through awareness, treatment and effective communication with partners and diverse community members regarding sexually transmitted infections.
  5. Enhance satisfaction with sexual relationships through informed decisions utilizing knowledge of problematic (coercive, paraphilic) and functional (consensual, atypical) sexual behaviors.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Apply the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and succeed in a defined profession or advanced academic program. (Professional Competence)
4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate intended outcomes by any combination of the following as determined by the instructor:

  • Written and/or oral assignments designed to promote integration of class material with personal reflection and experience.
  • Multiple choice, short answer and essay questions that require integration, application, and critical examination of material covered in the class.
  • Participation in individual, dyad and group exercises, activities, case studies and/or role-plays in or outside of the classroom.
  • Individual or group presentations.
  • Attendance at, or participation in, lectures, workshops and/or community events related to the field of sexology.
  • Design and completion of a research project.
  • Community service learning projects.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Content, Issues

  1. Childhood and adolescent sexuality
  2. Adult sexuality and aging
  3. Sexual problems: their description, etiology and treatment
  4. Sexual enhancement strategies
  5. Chronic illness and disability and how it affects sexual desire and expression
  6. Contraception
  7. Conception
  8. Sexual victimization: rape, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment
  9. Paraphilias
  10. Sexually transmitted infections
  11. Prostitution
  12. Pornography
  13. Adult entertainment

Competencies and Skills

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of childhood and adolescent sexual growth and development from biological, psychological, social and cultural perspectives, and reflect on this process from a personal perspective.
  2. Explain how sexual values, attitudes and behavior may be expressed during the adult years within different contexts including: single living, cohabitation, marriage, consensual and nonconsensual extramarital relationships, divorce, aging, widowhood.
  3. Identify various types of chronic illness (multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke) and disability (spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness, mental disabilities) on sexual desire and expression. Describe various coping and enhancement strategies to deal with the above.
  4. Identify the physiological, personal, relationship and sociocultural factors that may contribute to sexual problems.
  5. Give examples of specific desire, excitement and orgasm phase sexual problems that men and women experience. Describe the nature of dypareunia in men and women. Be able to recommend treatment options for sexual problems as well as strategies for sexual enhancement.
  6. Be able to demonstrate the following in regard to contraception: ways in which couples can share responsibility for it; how various methods work as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method; and finally, the effectiveness of various hormone-based contraceptives, barrier methods, intrauterine devices, emergency contraception, methods based on the menstrual cycle, and sterilization.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the process of conception, including: how to enhance the possibility of conception, infertility problems and how they might be dealt with, spontaneous and elective abortion, aspects of a healthy pregnancy, sexual interaction during pregnancy, stages of childbirth, and psychological and sexual adjustments postpartum.
  8. Give examples of various sexually transmitted infections, specifically bacterial and viral infections, common vaginal infections, and ectoparasitic infections. Explain transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention for each infection, including HIV. Identify community resources for treatment, testing, and prevention.
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in sexual victimization (rape, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment) including factors that may contribute to these types of victimization; characteristics of offenders, treatment resources and prevention strategies.
  10. Give examples of atypical sexual behavior, including noncoercive paraphilia’s (e.g., fetishism, transvestism, sexual sadism and sexual masochism, klismaphilia, autoerotic asphyxia, coprophilia, and urophilia) and coercive paraphilia’s (e.g., exhibitionism, obscene phone calls, voyeurism, frotteurism, zoophilia, necrophilia). Describe some of the dynamics involved in these behaviors as well as treatment strategies for coercive paraphilia’s.
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of the commercialization of sex as it relates to prostitution, pornography and adult entertainment.
  12. Develop and practice critical thinking, personal reflection, written and oral communication skills in pursuit of all of the above.
  13. Seek out, evaluate and integrate resources in the library, on the Internet and in the community in pursuit of 1-12 above.