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Queen's University


Instructor: Dr Anna Taylor

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An overview of typical sexual behaviour and its variations. Topics include the history of sex research, the sexual response cycle, sexual dysfunction, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Particular attention will be paid to current issues in sex research and theory.

Available in Winter 2018, Summer 2018 and Winter 2019.

PREREQUISITE    PSYC 235/6.0 or PSYC 236/3.0 or PSYC 251/3.0 or PSYC 271/3.0 or PSYC 370/3.0.

Sexuality is something that affects virtually everyone, in one way or another. Because of its ubiquitous nature, sexuality is an issue that requires understanding. In this course, we explore basic information about sex and sexuality, including the history of sex research, theories of sexuality, sexual anatomy, sexual development, and the nature of the sexual response. We also discuss potentially controversial issues, such as fertility, contraception and abortion, sexually transmitted infections, sexuality across the lifespan (including sexuality in children and elderly people), sexual dysfunctions, and the use of sexuality in negative ways, such as sexual assault.

Learners develop existing knowledge by examining common research techniques in relation to theory, as well as biological, social, and cultural influences. Furthermore, learners learn to employ critical thinking skills to objectively analyze, evaluate, and discuss sexuality research in an open, academic, and professional forum together with their online peers. This is an undergraduate level course with particular attention paid to Western sexuality research and theory.

Because of the nature of the material, and the importance of understanding sexuality, we discuss sexuality and sexuality research frankly. It is important to keep in mind that lectures and any additional materials (e.g., readings, videos, etc.) may be sexually explicit, and are intended to facilitate discussion and the learning process. Please consider the nature of the course material deciding to continue in this course.

Note: If you suffer from issues related to sexuality, you will likely not benefit personally from this class other than gaining information. If you are in need of resources, please contact the instructor.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Recognize, appreciate, and describe examples of diverse aspects of human sexuality, including sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual behaviours, sexual function, age, and ethnicity
  • Explain and evaluate the methods and results of research that has contributed to our knowledge about sexuality
  • Apply knowledge to defend or critique scientific results and theory to objectively participate in academic discussions about sexuality while also employing responsible decision-making techniques from the perspective of a voting citizen and community member


Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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