Course descriptions for the PhD in Human Sexuality program
HSX courses will be offered in three formats: traditional (face-to-face), “hybrid” (face to-face, supplemented by online), and wholly online. The proseminar courses (HSX 008 and 009) will be traditional with weekly meetings; three courses (HSX 005, 010, and 011) will be online; and all of the remaining courses will be hybrid. Students will be limited to taking only one of the online courses in any given semester. Course formats are listed in the description of each course below.
All students and faculty in the program will gather for a face-to-face weeklong Intensive in late summer, just prior to the start of the fall semester. The hybrid courses will meet face-to-face three times a semester per 3-unit course, providing 45 hours of instruction in a schedule that spans Saturday/Sunday/Monday; students and faculty will connect online in the intervening weeks when students focus on discussions of readings, collaborative projects, and preparation for the face-to-face meetings.
Required Core Courses
HSX 001: Introduction to Human Sexuality
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of human sexuality and sexual literacy. The course reviews theoretical, methodological, epistemological, historical, clinical, policy, and public health areas of knowledge in understanding the spectrum of sexual meanings and practices across time and space. The course also examines social and cultural theories of sexuality in the context of historical, psychosocial, media, and public health social changes in Western society since the time of the American Revolution, with emphasis upon changes that have occurred since 1960. Additionally, major paradigmatic thinkers are contrasted in relation to sexual essentialism versus social constructionism. We will look at how changes in society, the self, the state, public health, the media, and science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries led to fixations and controversies surrounding medicalized sexuality and the disease model of sex, followed later by the social construction of sexuality. Course goals are: 1) mastering a body of scholarly knowledge, 2) becoming aware of the range or spectrum of sexuality across cultures and human development, 3) applying clinical and policy skills to understanding human sexual development, and 4) helping to support and transform the role of sexual literacy in society.
HSX 002: Sexual and Gender Orientation: Research, Policy, Society, and Self-Awareness
This course is a comprehensive examination of theoretical, methodological, clinical, policy, and sexual literacy aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity development and expression. Sexual orientation is the structure of a person’s sexual and/or romantic attractions in people of the same or opposite sex, or toward both sexes, while gender identity is a person’s basic sense of being a man or boy, a woman or girl, or another gender (e.g., transgender, bigender, or gender queer—a rejection of the traditional binary classification of gender). Researchers have found that there is a spectrum of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in the United States and across cultures ranging from being exclusively homosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning. Also considered is the cultural and historical range of sexual orientation and gender identity. Attention is devoted to the theories, causes, contexts, and expressions of diverse sexualities and sexual fluidity. Policy and clinical processes related to being open and out; forming a family or family of choice; and dealing with issues of discrimination, stigma, homophobia, sexual and gender conforming and nonconforming behaviors, across the life course, will also be examined as they impact on society, the law, self-awareness, and interpersonal and social relations.
HSX 003: Childhood and Adolescent Sexual Development in Context
This is a comprehensive introduction to the interdisciplinary study of childhood and adolescent sexuality in social, cultural, and psychological context. The course is designed to cover basic areas of theory, methodology, ethics, critical scientific knowledge, and certain elements of clinical practice and social policy as they pertain to child and adolescent sexuality. Knowledge and skills are introduced in the following areas: infant and childhood sexuality; childhood sexuality, curiosity, masturbation, and play; childhood sexual abuse; adolescent sexual development; romantic and sexual relationships; adrenarche, gonadarche, and pubertal processes ages 6–12; adolescent sexual identity development, mainstream and LGBTQ; STIs and adolescent sexual risk; the roles of family, school, media, places of worship, community, and culture in sexual expression during early, middle, and late adolescent development; sexual education processes; and policy and clinical implications.
HSX 004: Adulthood and Later-Life Sexual Development in Context
This course is a comprehensive overview of sexuality in adulthood, midlife, and aging, including the study of young adulthood, being single, cohabitation, marriage, mental well-being in relationship formation, heterosexual and same-sex marriage, midlife sexual expression, and elders’ sexuality in the context of psychosocial and psychosexual development, well-being, disability, and sexual dysfunction. Additional topics to be announced.
HSX 005: Caring for the Sexual Body: STIs—Research, Treatment, and Policy
This course is a comprehensive overview of sexually transmitted infections and diseases in human sexuality, culture, and societal policy. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and parasites. STIs are easy to acquire and relatively easy to prevent, manage, and treat. However, sexual illiteracy and structural factors including poverty, racism, and homophobia in young people, adults, and seniors continue to pose individual and structural challenges to effective education, treatment, prevention, and the role of STI stigma in the formation of global sexuality, public health, and human rights. The course is aimed to equip and prepare students to engage in clinical counseling, policy analysis, and policy formulation; and to engage in creative inquiry into the global crisis of sexually transmitted diseases.
HSX 006: Diverse Sexuality Across Ethnicities and Cultures
This seminar is a comprehensive overview of the role of human sexuality and sexual literacy in the formation of diverse ethnicities and cultures in the United States and globally. It introduces the spectrum of diverse sexual functioning and expression as distributed across ethnic groups, and as intersected by race, social class, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity expression. The interdisciplinary approach considers cross-cultural, cross-societal, cross-ethic group, and related socioeconomic factors, including social class, in understanding how sexual meanings and practices are expressed, change, and become recognized as part of group identity, religion, or spirituality, and culture. The course is taught from the synergistic theoretical perspectives of contemporary social, cultural, historical, psychological, and public health theory as they ground and pertain to human sexuality. The curriculum is rooted in historical and cultural accounts of diverse ethnicities, including African American, Hispanic, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Island, and related constructs of sexual literacy and cultural life.
HSX 007: Research Methodology in Sexuality for Clinicians
This course is a comprehensive introduction to research methods, qualitative and quantitative, as applied to human sexual functioning and expression, with respect to individual, couples, families, and communities in terms of research that bears upon their treatment, clinical management, and well-being in the context of culture and society. Particular emphasis is placed upon the clinical case method, life stories, scripts, meanings, and narrative, at the intrapsychic, interpersonal, and cultural levels.
HSX 008: Proseminar in Sexuality and Clinical Practice (Sequence 1)
This course is a clinical proseminar that is designed for in-depth supervision of practicing clinicians who will learn culturally competent knowledge and skills, as reflected in self-awareness and the clinical encounter, and in relation to the treatment of all areas of sexual functioning and expression. Topics to be considered include romantic, sexual, and relationship formation; family formation; spirituality and sexual conflict; sexual functioning and sexual dysfunction; LGBTQ identities and expression among children, adolescents, and adults; and aspects of sexual coercion, abuse, and the paraphilias. Also considered in depth are issues of erotic and sexual transference and treatment.
HSX 009: Proseminar in Sexuality and Clinical Practice (Sequence 2) Continuation of HSX 008.
HSX 010: Sexual, Gender, and Reproductive Rights
This is a comprehensive introduction to the advanced study of sexual, gender, and reproductive rights in the context of the culture and history of rights- and identity-based movements in the U.S.A., including the law and public policy, the media, and society. Knowledge and skills focus both upon individual and group-level research and policy evidence in medicine and public health, the law, government, scientific research, and the media. The historical introduction of rights since the American Revolution also highlights the link between society, the law, and rights-based discourse as applied to human sexuality. Media case studies are analyzed in the USA and globally, for example, in the areas of same-sex marriage rights, HIV/AIDS, contraceptives, and sex education, in relation to the cultural reasoning that affirms or challenges rights, including through study of moral and sex panics.
HSX 011: Women and Reproductive Health and Rights
This course offers a comprehensive advanced introduction to women’s sexual and gender health, sexual well- being, and reproductive health and rights, in the U.S. and globally. Historical review of knowledge, laws, policies, and individual expressions in relation to contraceptive use in the U.S. from the Comstock Law (1873) to Roe v. Wade (1973) and beyond. Of particular concern are women’s individual and group rights as supported by current research knowledge and challenges to these in local, state, federal, and global policies.
HSX 012: Research Methodology in Sexuality for LGBTQ and Reproductive Policy
This is a comprehensive advanced course in research methodologies related to policy study and formation, with respect to LGBTQ issues, such as same-sex marriage rights; and women’s sexual and reproductive health, such as contraceptive rights. Qualitative and quantitative methods are both studied. Case studies are utilized in understanding polling, attitude formation in the general population, policy and behavior change, and the roles of the media and best policy practices online and in actual societal institutions. Each student will conduct a detailed analysis of one policy area considered both in historical and cultural perspective and with attention to the impact on individuals, families, and communities.
HSX 013: Policy, Leadership, Identities, and Community Formation (Sequence 1)
This course provides for a deep immersion internship experience in either LGBTQ, or women’s sexual and reproductive policy, leadership, identities, and communities. Individuals will engage in a nine-month internship contract with an appropriate community-based organization, non-governmental organization, or government agency within the U.S. or globally. Students will create a case study of this institution based upon appropriate theory, methodology, research data, and write-up. Students will be supervised on-site by an appropriate staff member of the organization, as well as by a CIIS faculty member. Besides providing detailed work-related policy experience and networks, many students will actually focus on this material in their doctoral dissertation.
HSX 014: Policy, Leadership, Identities, and Community Formation (Sequence 2)
Continuation of HSX 013.
HSX 015: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Religion
This course is a comprehensive seminar on sexual attitudes, social practices, cultures, as experienced and expressed through the great world religions.
HSX 016: Transgender Experiences, Identities, Policies, and Communities
This class provides a general introduction to the emergent area of practice and policies regarding transgender people
HSX 017: Sexuality Education and Teaching
This class offers an introduction to issues of comprehensive sex education and sexuality in the classroom from K–12, including bullying, homophobia, and heterosexism, as well as best practices via training to equip teachers to handle these challenges.
Electives on Human Sexuality Offered through CIIS Public Programs & Performances
Midlife and Aging: Sexual Development in Context (3)
Sexual Function, Physiology, Hormones, and Brain (1–3)
Current Concepts in Clinical Treatment and Sexuality (1–3)
Love, Arousal, Communication, and Pleasure (1–3)
Sexual Coercion and Resiliency (1)
Changing Sexual Norms and Paraphilias (1)
Contraception and Reproduction: Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth (1–3)
Sexuality and Disability (1–3)
Sexual Medicine—New Developments (1–3)
Embodiment and Healing (1–3)
Sexuality and Spirituality (1–3)
Relevant Courses in Other Departments
ANTH 6804 Language and Sexuality
EWP 6219 Integrating Sex and Gender: An Embodied Inquiry (1)
EWP 7515 Holistic Sexuality (3)
EWP 7514 Transpersonal Perspectives on Sexuality and Relationships (3)
EWP 7511 Sexuality, Spirituality, and Human Evolution (3)
EWP 6874 Sexuality and Spirituality: A Necessary Unity (3)
MCP 6101 Human Sexuality (1)
MCPC 5201 Human Development and the Family (3)
PSY 5014 Gender and Sexuality In Clinical Practice (3)
SOM 6721 Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy