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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What would you want your college senior kid to learn in my Human Sexuality course?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38980points) February 16th, 2012

besides the basics of anatomy and complexities of sexuality. be specific.

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57 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

That sex was not intended to be a “fling thing”. That sex with the one you love, is almost as great as the oxygen we breath.

And, lets not even discuss prostitutes.

Blackberry's avatar

@john65pennington It’s not a mormon college.

Using the history example from nikipedia, I would also add the different types of sexual communities, as it’s more than just two people that fall in love and have kids in a suburb.

syz's avatar

College senior in Human Sexuality? Everything (factual, that is).

nikipedia's avatar

Probably facts and not opinions like “sex was not intended to be a ‘fling thing.’”

I think a history of human sexual behavior, back to the primates, would be pretty solid. And how sexual behavior influences other aspects of society (e.g., increased polygyny is associated with increased competition and risk-taking behavior).

ragingloli's avatar

abstinence only

john65pennington's avatar

Blackberry…..thanks. jp

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington I teach that for some it is just a fling and for some it isn’t but there is no one ‘normal’ way to go about sex and that it’s no one’s business how anyone else does their business, prostitutes included. @Blackberry No, it’s not a Mormon college, it’s a community college in NYC with a great, diverse group of kids. Different types of sexual communities will be discussed, I’m planning 2 lectures on sexual expression variation. @syz Yeah, but what would an interesting thing you’d want them to learn? @nikipedia I do like to teach the difference between facts and opinions. I spend one lecture on objectivity vs. judgment, what stereotypes, biases and opinions are and how they don’t belong in sociology in terms of research and research results but, when it comes to sexuality, people’s experiences (aka: not facts) matter.

Blackberry's avatar

@john65pennington I’m just saying that it’s a college: a place for learning about learning, about the various facets of life, and that involves thinking more openly and critically and coming in contact with things you don’t agree with.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Maybe a brief questionaire would be done on a 4 or 5 point scale at the start to see the baseline. Then at the end a retake to see where the information altered opinions.

Other than being able to see how they’ve opened their minds to differences, my take would be that they should have an understanding of historical & cultural differences of puberty, masturbation, sexual health, behavior, function, STDs, abuse…everything sex related, really.

ragingloli's avatar

I have changed my mind.
Teach them the Kama Sutra with regular practical exams in front of the entire course.

Blackberry's avatar

@ragingloli You have a point there. Kama Sutra is pretty beneficial to a long lasting relationship. I’m very fond of “Splitting the Crow” myself.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ragingloli You know I would. @Blackberry LOL @SpatzieLover Let’s see, I will touch on all of those.

Aethelflaed's avatar

(Don’t have a kid, but would totally be the senior college student in your class)

- Theory(s) of sexual fluidity. How are the various parts of the QUILTBAG taking to this theory?
– Info on sex vs. gender, including a lot of genderqueer and trans* stuff – maybe a few minutes on the politics within the trans* community. Assign Julia Serano.
– Have a good class on various definitions of what constitutes sex, and the pros and cons with each of them. Like, how PIV tends to privilege hetero couples, orgasm tends to privilege men, how excluding oral/anal/touching from sex can lead to people thinking you can’t get STDs from that act, how women who don’t want to have a high number of sexual partners are often more inclined to define it in a strict PIV sense, etc.
– Teach (bi/hetero/queer) men penetration is not the be-all-end-all for all women. The number of men over the age of 21 who still don’t know this continues to blow my mind. Teach women it’s ok if they don’t find penetration the be-all-end-all of sex, and that it’s ok to ask for other acts that they find more pleasurable.
– Female form: What’s up with the g-spot? Does it exist? Is it a myth? Should we trust male Italian scientists to know anything about the female body? Can women ejaculate? Isn’t it just urine? Is the clit always better? Where is the clit?
– Male form: I dunno, ask a dude what he’d like other people to know. But I shouldn’t be coming up with that part.
– Consent. Make this a huge part of the class. What is it? How do you know you’re getting it? How does that change when your partner isn’t traditionally abled? How common is rape? Who rapes? How does our society deal with rape? What could our society do to be better at dealing with and preventing rape? No, seriously, what about the menz – what can they do to prevent rape? What does coercion look like?
– STDs: What are they? Which ones are curable, which ones aren’t? Which ones can you get which ways? What’s up with HPV and men?
– Fetishes: What makes a fetish a fetish? Are they always bad? Why are people into them – is it always a pathological thing? What about BDSM – what are the various theories from kinksters themselves?
– Porn/prostitution: I’m pretty obviously of the sex-pozzie, On Our Backs was the best thing ever variety, but you should give McDworkin and Dines some time as well. Maybe if you have time, assign Jo Doezema’s piece from Global Sex Workers?
– Foucault: Ok, I know you’re pretty much legally mandated to teach some of him, but could you please point out that his historical facts are kinda crap?

syz's avatar

@Blackberry “Splitting of a bamboo” or “Congress of the crow”?

john65pennington's avatar

Blackberry….I never experienced that in college. Did I miss something? I was too busy studying and playing in my R & Roll band.

And, then I met my wife.

john65pennington's avatar

Simone…are you sure about prostitues?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington Damn sure there is nothing wrong with voluntary sex work and the only thing wrong with the other kind is patriarchy and violence against women rather than the sex workers themselves (who, yes, can be of all genders but you get what I’m saying).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Aethelflaed Covered sexual fluidity already and how the debate around whether homosexuality is a choice, is inborn, whether is a gene, etc are addressed by different factions within the gay community, the straight world and the queer community. I always talk about transgender and intersex issues first rather than last so every class is taught from the ground up, from the fray to the center, so to speak. I love a lot of Serano’s work, do not know if we will have enough time, it’s not a graduate level course, etc. I already covered the male/female/intersex form (they’re reading a lot of Susan Bordo and Elissa Stein). Consent and what constitutes sex will be at least 2 lectures leading into sexual coercion and discussions on prostitution, pornography, etc. Fetishes will be at least 1 lecture and we are done with Foucault (I didn’t discuss him much, they just read some of History of Sexuality Vol. 1 – I like the ‘perverse implantation’ concept).

john65pennington's avatar

Simone…you forgot to mention how many prostitues are killed each year, mostly by serial killers. Its not a safe occupation.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington Yeah, because the reason most people hate prostitutes is that they care so much for their safety. Give me a huge break. I am aware that it is dangerous but that’s not what’s wrong with doing sex work, that’s a consequence of a sexist culture.

john65pennington's avatar

No matter how you cut it, dead is dead. And, you left out the drug scene altogether in association with prostitutes.

No more.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington It seems to me when, for example, people die in battle, you’re less likely to complain about how pointless the military is – yet they’re just as dead. As for the drugs, I wasn’t leaving anything out. You’re the one talking about prostitution as if it pertains to this q.

john65pennington's avatar

This may be true, but at least(and I hope) that the vast majority were not high on illegal drugs, while defending our country or someones country.

Really gone, this time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington Thanks for your input. Also (since I’m printing this out for my students, you should read it, too)...just so you know…women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow military people than die of enemy fire in Iraq – something to think about.

Jude's avatar

Nothing to add, but, I just wanted to say good luck, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. :)

Buttonstc's avatar

The importance of Safe, Sane, and Mutually Consensual in any and all interactions.

john65pennington's avatar

Simone, I will agree about assaults on military wives and I can understand why. It’s not right, but I know it happens frequently, especially men that have served in active military zones. Ft. Campbell is nearby and we have arrested many military men, in Nashville, for outstanding warrants for these assaults.

You question is really a good one. I do think there are many details that should be discussed that have not.

Anyway, good question.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir There is a distinct difference between dying in battle and being murdered on the street.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Not that I care to discuss that can of worms in this question but whatever.

Blackberry's avatar

@syz Oops, haha. I meant the congress of the crow.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Nullo I’m not sure the dead women would see the difference.

rebbel's avatar

I am not sure what the age of these kids is.
But what I would want to tell them and this could be told/taught to kids from very young ages, I think: don’t automatically assume that your ‘weird’ thoughts/behaviour/(sexual-)development is strange and/or that you are the only one in the world having to deal with this ‘weirdness’.
And that they are not to be afraid to ask (in relation to their ‘weirdness’).

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Brilliant! Um, so a couple other things – maybe some on the white sexuality vs PoC sexuality? Throw the term “intersectionality” around? And then repro rights – obviously, abortion and birth control, but what about birthing?

Yeah, I thought I might have gotten into some grad school stuff there. Ah well.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, firstly great you are running such a class.

I think it would be good for them to have an opportunity to talk about relationships and the place sex plays in relationships. Rather than the focus being purely on the mechanics and safe sex etc. messages.

How to maintain healthy self-esteem, to say no and that it is okay to say no and they shouldn’t feel or impose pressure to change someone’s mind if they choose to say no.

Information about what constitutes sexual harassment and rape and how to avoid such situations.

Information about safe sex and the increase in sexually transmitted diseases and that yes, they too can pick up an STD if they don’t take responsibility for their own sexual health.

Where to go for help if something does go wrong and that things do go wrong.

I am sure you will do this, but I would facilitate and encourage them to carry out and share their own research and ideas rather than lecturing. Lots of them talking and you listening and guiding. I really do doubt you would take an authoritarian approach but it is worth mentioning.

Don’t underestimate them (again, I am sure you will not do this).

cazzie's avatar

I am trying to answer this question, but I can’t imagine my 7 year old as a senior in university, and I’m not sure I want to.

My current sexual issues with him include, trying to explain how he has an older brother from another mother, and having to constantly respond… ‘No… you can’t marry me, I’m your mother.’...

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I know you said “besides the basics of anatomy”... but apparently some people don’t know that women do not have a “nose” in their vagina. That seems like pretty important information.

I guess I would mainly want them to know as much as possible about safe sex, and to not let themselves be pressured into things they don’t want to do.

cazzie's avatar

I’m sorry… are you talking about the final year of University or the final year of high school (as it is called in the US) some of the answers here seem like what I would expect my kids to leave high school with….. Like safe sex should be drilled into their little 15 year old heads….

At that more mature age we are talking about, they should be able to discuss more complex issues, as some have mentioned about gender issues and sexuality exploration. How about gender identification in other cultures, for example, the fafafine.

HungryGuy's avatar

Hmmmm…. I just might sign up for that class…

But I’ll never reveal to you that I’m Hungry Guy from Fluther :-0

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Aethelflaed Yes, I am so all over that. First they’re reading chapters from Collins’ ‘Black Feminist Thought’ and I have also developed my own graphic to explain intersectionality (that a student is putting into organized fashion for me so it’ll be around soon!)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Bellatrix I’m all about letting students run my class and elaborate the semester’s journey. I’d say that right now they’re very hesitant to talk openly but we’re working through it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I really liked Hill-Collins :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@cazzie College seniors (~22 years old). @WillWorkForChocolate Actually, because of the way we develop in utero, there is erectile tissue in our noses, rather than noses in our vaginas.

Buttonstc's avatar

Erectile tissue in noses. Now that’s something I was unaware of previously :)

That’s what I like about Fluther. Learn something new almost every day. Thanks Simone. (altho I’m still pondering any practical uses for that little tidbit :)

Hmmmm…...

ragingloli's avatar

it gives the sneeze a whole new layer of meaning

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

LOL! Great information to have!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

More info here. I know one use for this tidbit (granted I learned it from the show Lie to Me but whatever) – when people lie and the blood flows to the erectile tissue in their nose, they must scratch it and that way you can catch them in a lie but also a sneeze does give you the same kind of a release as an orgasm, just less of it.

Nullo's avatar

@Lightlyseared That’s not really the point though, is it?

mattbrowne's avatar

The role of body odor which is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. You could take a look at the famous t-shirt experiment.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne Yep, covered that whole thing. Thanks!

Cupcake's avatar

Wow… your class sounds far more comprehensive and interesting than the one I took undergrad.

One interesting assignment we had, though, was to write a paper of a sexual encounter/sexuality from the perspective of an elderly person.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cupcake Yes! Agreed. That’s a big part of the course too, aging and sexuality of older people.

Cupcake's avatar

I would want my college senior to take your class. No question. I actually want my high school junior to take your class.

I’m so glad you’re serving humanity in this way. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cupcake Hell, once my syllabus is complete…I can email it to your high school junior and have them read whatever they want from there.

Cupcake's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I would love that. I look forward to reading it myself, too!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

all right, everyone pm me your emails at the end of May

cazzie's avatar

One of my nieces was taking a human development course her last year at Madison. The section they were discussing was human sexuality, in all its complexity. She comes from a very church going, conservative family so some of the stuff really shocked her and she felt weird about it. I was surprised that at her age, she was uncomfortable discussing trans-gender, cross-dressing, homosexuality, fetish or sexual identity that veered off what she considered ‘normal’. She had to do a report and didn’t know where to begin. I mentioned the fafafine and how amazing Samoan culture is in recognising and accepting their children’s sexuality due to their very ancient tradition of the necessity of raising some boys as girls. I don’t know what she ended up writing about, but I hope her eyes were opened just a little bit.

http://www.abc.net.au/ra/pacific/people/hazy.htm

I think culture differences around the world and their attitudes towards sex, sexuality and sex workers should be a part of the course.

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