Psychology of Sex

HON 498 - Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds

Modes of Inquiry: Textual Analysis, Scientific and Mathematical Analysis, Historical, Social, and Cultural Analysis, Artistic Creation and Analysis

Course Description:

This course will provide an exploration of human sexuality and the psychological links to a variety of sexual choices. Students will examine sexual behavior from multi-dimensional perspectives, including biological, psychological, sociocultural, and systemic. Students will explore the origins and history of sex therapy, be provided with a broad systemic basis for evaluating individuals or relationships that present with sexual dysfunction, understand the possible stigmatization and psychological/emotional impact of such dysfunction on a person and his or her partner, and learn about the progression of treatment options, including the history and practice of sex surrogacy. This class examines the cultural context within which our values about sexuality are developed and defined, including the messages from our family of origin and religious community. We will be discussing in depth such issues as sexual exploitation, the influence of pornography on body image, and its link to addiction, brain changes, and sexual expectations. Students will look at the development of sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and the diversity of sexual expression. Additionally, topics for review will include possible causation of “deviant” sexual practices, fetishism, the distinction between erotica and pornography, possible reasons for infidelity and the effects of an affair on a relationship, how choices of “swinging” or “open marriage” are decided in a relationship and the possible psychological and emotional impact of this choice, sexual expression and practices in the physically disabled population, psychological effects of unwanted pregnancy/abortion. We will look into the psychological and emotional motives behind the current (increasing) preference of today’s youth and casual sex (or “hook ups”) instead of the more traditional dating arrangements. The possible consequences of childhood sexual abuse on later sexual dysfunction issues and behavior will also be explored, as well as how infertility or parenthood impacts sexuality, and the sexual changes that occur as we age.