Sociology | Sexual Diversity
S321 | 4113 | Sweeney


This is a course on the diversity of human sexuality.  In order to
get an idea of who is doing what, with whom, how often, we will
investigate various sources of information on human sexuality: pseudo-
social science, as in pop psychology and pop sociology, path-breaking
sex research of the 20th century (including IUís Alfred Kinsey); and
contemporary sex research, with a focus not just on findings, but
also on perspectives and methodologies.
In order to get an idea of how sexual meanings can be socially
constructed and organized in a number of different ways, we will
review research on sexuality across cultures and times. We will
discuss how identical sexual acts can have different meanings
depending on the time and place in which they are performed. Why do
some sexual behaviors (i.e., homosexuality) lead to specific personal
identities (i.e., gay man, lesbian) in our culture, but not in
others? We will discuss how specific meaning-constructions have
changed over time.  How did female sexuality change from Dealing with
Your Husbandís Sexual Needs to Pleasing Yourself and Achieving
Multiple Orgasms?
	We will also cover a variety of critical issues related to
sexuality: sexuality as it relates to gender, race, and class; the
sexuality of children and adolescents; sex education; rape,
especially date rape on college campuses; lesbian/gay/bisexual
identities, lives, and related contemporary debates; and various
forms of sexuality that are well beyond the mainstream.
Throughout the course we will discuss the implications of the
variability of sexual meanings. Most importantly, we will discuss the
relationship between cultural meanings and human behaviors; that is,
we will explore how culture molds and shapes how we think about and
do sex.
Please be advised: this course is not for everyone.  Sexually
explicit materials will be used, and we will cover potentially
sensitive issues.