Sociology | Studying Sexuality: The Objectivist Approach
S521 | 25448 | Weinberg


This course provides a sociological examination of the major
social-psychological and behavioral aspects of human sexual 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), 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 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 a more first-hand
experience with regard to a variety of sex-related practices 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 built upon the structure of
the undergraduate S321 course.  I ask that you attend all the lectures
and 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 in 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 taking three in-class
exams (while the undergraduates have fourth optional exam).