Human Sexuality I

Course Number: PSY 231
Transcript Title: Human Sexuality I
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 10, 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


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Explores sexual issues from scientific and humanistic perspectives. Surveys historical, cultural and cross-cultural variation in sexuality, sex research, female and male sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology, gender issues, sexual response, sexual communication, sexual behavior patterns, love, and sexual orientations. 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. Improve sexual health and functioning through the critical evaluation of scientific and popular information.
  2. Practice sexual health and enhance sexual satisfaction based on a) the knowledge of sexual anatomy and physiology, b) the ability to communicate effectively about sexuality with partners, family members, and health-care providers, and c) understanding of psychological influences on sexual decision-making and health behaviors.
  3. Use an understanding of historical, biological, social, psychological, and cultural contexts of diverse sexual practices in order to be accepting of others’ consensual behaviors.
  4. Be open to and accepting of diversity in others’ gender identity, gender role expression, sexual orientation and variations, in order to promote community well-being.
  5. Establish, maintain, and enhance intimate relationships through the utilization of research based principles.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 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 verbal 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 Activities and Design

Course activities are the same as the above assessments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Historical, contemporary, cultural and cross-cultural perspectives on human sexual attitudes, values and behaviors.
  2. Sex research - methodology, exemplary research studies and criteria for evaluating sex research.
  3. Biological and social learning factors that influence gender identity formation.
  4. Gender role expectations and their impact on sexuality.
  5. Transsexualism and transgenderism and other gender variations.
  6. Male and female sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology; sexual health issues.
  7. Sexual arousal and response patterns in men and women from adulthood through aging.
  8. The role of hormones in sexual behavior.
  9. Sexual communication.
  10. Love: themes and research on attraction, love, relationship development, maintenance and satisfaction; jealousy in relationships.
  11. Sexual behaviors: celibacy, fantasy, kissing and touching, masturbation, oral-genital stimulation, anal stimulation and intercourse, penile-vaginal intercourse, tribalism, interfemoral intercourse.
  12. Sexual orientations.