CIIS’ primarily online Human Sexuality Ph.D. starts with four semesters, 44 units of online coursework, including readings, and discussion boards which are taught asynchronously. Students then complete two comprehensive exams and a dissertation that contributes to the field of critical sexuality studies. After the completion of the dissertation research and manuscript, a public dissertation defense is held.
The program also includes academic residency weekends that engage students in-person or via Zoom where necessary. The academic residencies consist of three weekends per semester, spaced at the start of the semester, the middle and near the end.
Academic residencies are incredibly important for our program, as this is where we meet to inspire and support each other on the journey towards tomorrow’s critical sexuality studies.
Our semesters are held over fall (Aug-Dec) and spring (Jan-May). The average time to complete the program is five to six years for full-time students.
This program accepts students for the fall semester of each year and expects full-time students (meaning three courses per semester for four semesters) to continue coursework with their cohort. A part-time study (meaning two courses per semester for six semesters) is also available.
The Human Sexuality Ph.D. curriculum offers critical content knowledge on sexuality and its theoretical and historical backgrounds, while also promoting research skills, analysis skills, and professional skills.
HSX 7173 Sexual Theory and Intersectionality (3 units)
This foundational course surveys various theories through a lens of critical sexuality studies using a triadic framework: (1) concepts, (2) abjection, and (3) normativities. It is a primer for orienting the vast works that inform the field using critical sexuality studies as a central way of understanding and synthesizing these. The theories examined in this course are not exhaustive, but many have been applied to provide fruitful insights into various questions regarding sexuality. Further, this course supports the idea that experiences of sexuality and gender are collocated within power structures articulated as intersectional positionalities, such as race, ethnicity, class, nation, geographic location, age, religion, sexed body, dis/ability, and various other salient social and cultural locations, identities, and ascriptions—neither sexuality nor gender may be accurately understood without such contextual specificity. The emergent field of critical sexuality studies aims to agree not on content but on a basic orientation for thinking about the phenomena of sexuality and related praxis in research and applied work.
HSX 7228 Global Sexualities (3 units)
This course considers sex- and gender-related practices, desires, and identities around the world with an emphasis on non-Western contexts. In the first part of the course, students will become familiar with some of the problematic assumptions that have imbued theorizing gender and sexuality from within Western frameworks. Additionally, it will examine alternatives to approaching knowledge production about other peoples and practices that decenter a Western gaze. After becoming acquainted with this general approach, the course continues with a survey of contemporary issues and debates centering on different ways of knowing that inform sexual cultures. Special topics of focus may include sexual migration, globalization, and its impacts on Indigenous sexual/gender identities; transnational comparisons of sex work; virtual intimacies; body modification and desire; and the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, among others.
HSX 7232 Problems and Professional Issues in Sexuality (3 Units)
The focus of this course is to address issues of ethics, axiology, exploitation, abuse, harassment, assault, trauma, rape, rape culture, sex trafficking, problematic sex (e.g., compulsions, dysfunction, sexuality and substances, and disease), and other issues that can be thought of as problematic. While not necessarily subscribing to a pathologizing or criminalizing view, these important issues will be thoughtfully considered in a historical, contextual, reflexive, and critical manner. Attention will be paid to the history of the field, current controversies with internet sexuality, ethics, philosophical issues, and professional communication skills. These content areas are aligned with AASECT’
s course knowledge areas and are part of the required content for sex therapy and sex educator certification.