Sociology | Sexual Diversity
S321 | 20299 | Armstrong
This course provides a sociological examination of the major
social-psychological and behavioral aspects of human sexual diversity.
A range of sexualities will be examined and the subject matter will
include 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), 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), a variety of
forms of commercial sex, the genderization of sexuality (e.g.,
transvestism, transgenderism, the gendered shaping of sex work), and
other modes of sexual expression (e.g., fetishism, urine play, enema
Required Reading: Bryan Strong, Christine De Vault, Barbara Werner
Sayad, and William L. Yarber, Human Sexuality: Diversity in
Contemporary America, 5th Edition, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2005.
Accompanying Study Guide, 2005.
Recommended Reading: (1) Judith Mackay, The Penguin Atlas of Human
Sexual Behavior: Sexuality and Sex Practice Around the World, New
York: Penguin Books 2002; (2) Alexa Albert; Brothel: Mustang Ranch
and Its Women,New York; Ballantine Books 2002;(3) Amy Bloom, Normal:
Transexual CEO's, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with
Attitude, New York; Knopf, 2003.
[Re: Rec. Reading] The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexuality Behavior is a
small and interesting book that uses diagrams to compare countries in
various aspects of their sexual diversity. It contains additional
insights into many of the topics discussed in class. Brothel is a
great fieldwork study of the Mustang Ranch, which was a legal brothel
in Nevada, and it provides an excellent portrayal of the women who
worked there. Normal is a fieldwork study of transsexuals,
transvestites, and intersexuals that gives as insightful glimpse into
their lives. Students will NOT be questioned on these books in the
tests for the course (except when I have included materials from them
in my lectures).
GRADES: There will be three non-cumulative examinations, each
counting one-third toward the course grade, and an optional fourth
examination for any student wishing to take it.