Human Sexuality Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Human Sexuality Studies Program
BH 333
Director: Gilbert Herdt


Professors—Brogan, DeVries, Diaz, Doub, Goldman, Herdt, Hittner, Hoffman, Jenkins, Mann, McCoy, Ovrebo, Prinz, Scully, Tolman, Yep

Associate Professors—Bhat, Elia, Hossfeld, Leitao, Levy, Loomis, Soh

Assistant Professors—Blando, Carrington, Cohler, Fields, Melendez, Moffatt, Sueyoshi, Teunis

Lecturers—Angelo, Assali, Auleb, Chen, Sausa


Minor in Human Sexuality Studies
Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Master of Arts in Human Sexuality Studies

Program Scope

Human sexuality studies provides students with knowledge about the processes and variations in: sexual functions and reproduction; intimate relationships; sexual and gender role development and behavior; and the social, cultural, historical and moral contexts of sex and love. This interdisciplinary field relies primarily on faculty from the Colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health and Human Services, Humanities, and Science, who serve as advisers to students wishing information or assistance in making curricular choices. Students can use the Minor in Human Sexuality Studies to complement their majors. The program provides an opportunity to gain basic knowledge; develop an awareness of attitudes; and to acquire skills for counseling, teaching, and conducting research.

The Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies intends to delineate and analyze meanings that have been associated with homosexuality in various artistic, biological, cultural, educational, ethical, historical, and literary contexts; and examine the related issues of mixed-gender and cross-gender roles and practices.

The minor is broadly interdisciplinary. It draws courses from anthropology, biology, cinema, counseling, English, history, human sexuality studies, psychology, NEXA, social sciences, speech and communication studies, and women studies.


Undergraduate AdviseróR. Melendez

The minor consists of 26 to 28 units of undergraduate study. With proper advising it is possible to use these courses to fulfill some undergraduate major, minor, and General Education requirements. Written declaration of the pursuit of the minor is not necessary prior to enrollment in any of its required or elective courses.

Introduction: Students should try to complete HMSX 300 and either BIOL 330 or H ED 320 before taking any further courses in the minor. (These courses may, however, be taken concurrently.)

On-line course descriptions are available.

Introductory Courses Units
HMSX 300 Introduction to Human Sexuality 3
BIOL 330 Human Sexuality or 3
 H ED 320  Contemporary Sexuality
Core Courses
Students are required to complete requirements in each of the three areas listed below.
Psychological Aspects 3-4
HMSX/PSY 436 The Development of Femaleness and Maleness (4)  
HMSX/PSY 456 The Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior
Socio-Cultural Aspects—2 courses from the following from 2 different disciplines 6-7
HMSX 567/
ANTH 569
Cross-cultural Aspects of Sex and Gender  
SOC 468 Social Aspects of Human Sexuality (4)
SOC 469 Gender and Society (4)
CFS 325 Transitions in the Family Life Cycle
HMSX 301 Perspectives in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
HMSX 400/PSY 450 Variations in Human Sexuality
Humanistic Aspects 3
NEXA 391 Biological Sex and Cultural Gender  
HMSX/PHIL 369 Philosophical Issues in Sexuality
HMSX/H ED 500 Values Clarification in Sexuality
HIST 313 History of Love and Sexuality
HMSX 680 Colloquium in Human Sexuality 3
Elective Courses
Electives on advisement selected from the listings below (may include courses from above not used to satisfy basic requirements)
Minimum total 27-29
Elective courses
Biological Sciences
CFS 323 Infant/Toddler Development  
BIOL 621 Reproductive Physiology
H ED 414 Women's Health Problems and Issues
Behavioral and Social Sciences
ANTH 310 Family, Kin, and Community  
WOMS 595
Anthropology of Women
CFS 320 Children and Families
CFS 321 Adolescents and Families
CFS 426 Family Crises
HMSX/PSY 320 Sex in Relationships
HMSX 350 Criminalized Sexuality
HMSX/ANTH 388 Sex and Colonialism
HMSX 401 Discussion of Sexual Variations (1)
HMSX 402 Advanced Topics in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Studies
HMSX/S S 455 Sex, Power, and Politics
HMSX 569 Sex and the Law
SOC 464 Families and Society (4)
WOMS 590 Androgyny
Humanities and Creative Arts
ART 501 Women's Art History  
BECA 495 Women and Media
ENG 618 Studies in Gay and Bisexual Literature
HMSX 469 Sex and Morality
SPCH 503 Gender and Communication (4)
WOMS 552 Lesbian Lives and Thought
WOMS 611 Female Sexuality: Social and Theoretical Perspectives
Counseling Research Education and Field Experience
COUN 605/606 Interviewing Skills Practicum/Interviewing Skills (5/6)  
HMSX 550 Fieldwork in Human Sexuality Studies (1-3)
HMSX 600/
PSY 650
Research in Sexual Identity
SW 352 Gender, Sexism, and Social Welfare


The minor consists of a minimum of 24 units of undergraduate study. It is possible to use these courses to meet requirements in some undergraduate majors, in other minors, and various clusters in the General Education program. Specifically, several courses meet the requirements of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer cluster in Segment III of the General Education program.

Required Courses Units
HMSX 301 Perspectives in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies 3
HIST 314 Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual History 3
One course from the following: 3-4
  HMSX/S S 421 Homophobia and Coming Out  
  SPCH 525 Sexual Identity and Communication (4)
  WOMS 552 Lesbian Lives and Thought
One course from the following: 3-5
  ENG 633 Gay Love in Literature (4)  
  WOMS 551 Queer Perspectives in Literature and Media
  ENG 618 Studies in Gay and Bisexual Literature [all topics]
  ENG 604 Literary Aspects of Contemporary Film (5)
One course from the following: 3
  NEXA 391 Biological Sex and Cultural Gender  
  PSY 650/HMSX 600 Research on Sexual Identity
  PSY/HMSX 320 Sex and Relationships
  COUN/HMSX 326 Work and Leadership Issues of Bisexuals, Lesbians, and Gays
Elective units from the following: 9-10
  BIOL 330 Human Sexuality  
  ENG 580 Individual Authors [selected topics on advisement]
  HMSX 400/PSY 450 Variations in Human Sexuality
  HMSX/ART 403 Queer Art History
  HMSX/PSY 436 The Development of Maleness and Femaleness (4)
  HMSX 550 Field Service in Human Sexuality Studies (1-3)
  HMSX 567/ANTH 569 Cross-cultural Aspects of Sex and Gender
Total for minor 24-28


Graduate Adviser—N. Teunis

Career Options for M.A. Graduates

The career outlook for graduates with specialized knowledge of human sexuality has never been better in our society, due to the changing positive attitudes regarding the role of sexuality in the universities and colleges, high schools, local and national government, research and training, clinical and mental health training, and private sector positions that call for expertise of human reproduction, sexuality, sexual identity and diversity, sexual orientation, gender, and human resources.

The degree is designed to meet the career needs of students including:

Admission to Program

A prospective student must fulfill the general university requirements as stated in the section on Graduate and Post-baccalaureate Admissions of this Bulletin. To be considered for unconditional admission to the M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies, a student must have completed an undergraduate major in an appropriate field under advisement with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. It is expected that applicants will primarily come from behavioral and social sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology, history), health education (social services professions (social work), business (human resources, management, marketing), humanities (speech and communications, women studies). Students whose undergraduate major did not include human sexuality studies courses should consult the graduate coordinator about making up course deficiencies in human sexuality studies. The usual pattern is for the student to complete the equivalent of a B.A. in a field related to human sexuality studies before being accepted into the program.

If the students' undergraduate record meets the basic requirements and gives promise of a successful pursuit of graduate work, the department will recommend that the student be admitted either to classified graduate status (which means that the student may immediately proceed to take graduate courses and seminars) or conditional status, specifying the conditions and time limit within which they must be met.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: satisfactorily meeting the writing requirements in HMSX 800. Level Two: satisfactorily completing any other graduate-level seminar.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, applicants must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all human sexuality courses taken for the degree, and may not list on the Graduate Approved Program any course in which the grade received is below B-.

Prerequisite Courses

Completion of the following undergraduate courses is also required: HMSX 300, Introduction to Human Sexuality Studies, and BIOL 330, Human Sexuality. Students are strongly encouraged to take these courses at a community college. The equivalents at a community college or other university are also acceptable upon petition. Upon admission to the M.A. program, these classes can be taken during the first semester in the program.

Core Requirements Units
HMSX 701 Sexual Cultures, Sexual Identities or 3
  HMSX 702   History of Sexuality
HMSX 800 Sociocultural Foundations of Human Sexuality 3
HMSX 801 Biological and Psychological Foundations of Human Sexuality 3
HMSX 890 Professional Development 3
Research Methodology
HMSX 891 Research Methods in Human Sexuality Studies 3
Upon advisement, a student may select from the following courses to meet this requirement:  
 ANTH 710 Proseminar in Anthropological Theory and Method
 GRN 760 Research Methods in Gerontology
 HIST 700 History as a Field of Knowledge
 PSY 742 Seminar in Survey Research
 PSY 770 Research Methods and Techniques
 PSY 837 Research Methods in Developmental Psychology
 SPCH 772 Field Research Strategies (4)
 S W 810 Health, Illness, and Disordered Behavior
 ISED 797 Seminar in Educational Research
Units selected from upper division/graduate courses upon advisement 12
Culminating Experience
HMSX 895 Research Project in Human Sexuality Studies or 3


  HMSX 896 Directed Reading or
  HMSX 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense
Minimum total for degree 30

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 05, 2012 by