Description: This course is designed to provide students with an introduction of the major theories and principles guiding human sexuality as well as recent developments in sexuality health research; develop their understanding of methodological and assessment issues in the study of sexuality; and familiarize them with the extent to which sexuality research and principles inform public health efforts promoting sexual health. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and critically assess: (1) major concepts, theories and perspectives guiding a multidisciplinary understanding of human sexuality; (2) recent developments in sexuality research; (3) methodological aspects in the study of sexuality; and (4) how sexuality research informs public health practice and sexual health education strategies.
Course Goals: This course is designed as an introductory course in human sexuality. Throughout the term, students will learn the major theories and principles guiding an understanding of human sexuality as well as recent developments in sexuality research; develop an understanding of methodological and assessment issues in the study of sexuality; and apply sexuality research and principles to inform public health efforts. This knowledge is considered critical to the development of effective public health behavior and education programs focused on sexual health.
Competencies: This course addresses HBHE Competency #1: Describe the role and interaction of key determinants of health status, health behavior, and health behavior change from a biopsychosocial perspective across the lifespan. Through assignments and their final project, students will be expected to: (a) describe the epidemiology of a sexual health problem; (b) identify its biological, behavioral, social and educational aspects; and (c)review, select, and apply theoretical constructs for predicting and changing a health behavior related to their outcome of interest.
This course also addresses Competency #4 (Describe and apply ethical principles relevant to public health research and practice) and Competency #6 (Describe and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to interact with diverse individuals and communities). Given the diversity of populations represented in the course, as well as the sensitivity of the sexual health topics addressed in class, students will be encouraged to value sexual diversity, and describe how empirical research and evidence-based practice addresses ethical issues related to the promotion of the public's sexual health and to the practice of sexual health education as a profession. Through active class participation and the facilitation of course readings, these conversations will serve to develop students' perspectives on their professional rights, obligations, and role as a sexual health educators.
Learning Objectives: By the end of the course, students will be able to identify and critically assess:
1. Major concepts, theories and perspectives guiding a multidisciplinary understanding of human sexuality across the life course;
2. Recent developments in sexuality research;
3. Methodological aspects in the study of sexuality;
4. How sexuality research informs public health practice and how sexual health is promoted in health education strategies.