Sociology | Studying Sexuality: The Objectivist Approach
S521 | 24494 | Weinberg


This course provides a sociological examination of the major social-
psychological and behavioral aspects of human sexuality diversity.
(I have not included constructionist readings in this course because
I also give a graduate course [S522] in “Constructing Sexuality”.).
The range of sexualities examined will include subject matter on
sexual attitudes (e.g., notions of acceptable behavior in different
segments of the U.S. population), the prevalence of various behaviors
in different socio-cultural locations (e.g., societies, classes,
ethnicities, neighborhoods in Chicago), the intensity and nature of
sexual response by different social groups (e.g., according to
biological sex, by age), sexual object choice (e.g., homosexuality,
bisexuality), various forms of commercial sex, the genderization of
sexuality (e.g., transgenderism, the gendered shaping of sex work),
and other modes of sexual expression (e.g., fetishism, urine play,
enema clubs).

GOALS OF THE COURSE:  The goals are to provide the findings and
conclusions of major research studies in human sexuality, familiarize
you with the classic works in the field, and illustrate the different
types of research methods used in sex research.  We will examine the
original versions of classic works rather than have you just read
secondary sources and excerpts.  In addition, I would like you to
learn how faculty and graduate students familiarize themselves with a
large number of publications by learning to do this in an efficient
way.  I also use videos to provide “fieldtrips” that give you a more
first-hand experience with regard to a variety of sex-related
practices and venues than simply lectures and readings do.

I will also assign an undergraduate textbook that will provide some
basics and bring together disparate knowledge about sexuality.  In
addition to its integrative and basic teaching function, the text
also presents a variety of the latest research studies that update
and expand upon the material in the classic works you are reading.

STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE:  This course is superimposed on the
structure of the undergraduate S321 course.  I ask that you meet all
of the requirements of the undergraduate course.  As a graduate
student you will be asked to cover much more in terms of reading (as
detailed on the graduate syllabus).  Other differences are that I
will expect you to attend ALL classes, keep up on the reading, and
possibly meet with me to discuss certain readings.  You will not be
taking the same exams as undergraduates.  they will be similar in
that they will be non-cumulative, but they will be essay exams and
require more sophistication.  Finally, you will be taking three in-
class exams (while the undergraduates have a fourth optional exam).