Sexuality Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Sexuality Studies
HSS 235 / Downtown Campus RM 517
Fax: 415-405-0411
Chair: Rita Melendez


Professors—Brogan, DeVries, Diaz, Herdt, Hoff, Jenkins, Mann, Ovrebo, Prinz, Yep

Associate Professors—Carrington, Cohler, Elia, Fields, Hossfeld, Leitao, Levy, Loomis, Melendez, Soh, Sueyoshi

Assistant Professor—Howell

Lecturers—Angelo, Ashcraft, Assali, Auleb, Chen, Eliason, Mackenzie, Mallare, Tully, Vallin, White


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, social sciences, speech and communication studies, and women studies.


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 SXS 300 and either BIOL 330 or H ED 320 before taking any further courses in the minor. (These courses may, however, be taken concurrently.)

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Introductory Courses Units
SXS 300 Introduction to Human Sexuality 3
BIOL 330
H ED 320
Human Sexuality
Contemporary Sexuality
Core Courses
Students are required to complete requirements in each of the three areas listed below.
Psychological Aspects—one course from the following 3-4
SXS 436/
PSY 436
The Development of Femaleness and Maleness (4)  
SXS 456/
PSY 456
The Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior
Socio-Cultural Aspects—two courses from the following from two different disciplines 6-7
SXS 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
SXS 301 Perspectives in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
SXS 400/
SOC 400/
PSY 450
Variations in Human Sexuality
Humanistic Aspects—one course from the following 3
SXS 369/
PHIL 369
Philosophical Issues in Sexuality  
SXS 500/
H ED 500
Values Clarification in Sexuality
HIST 313 History of Love and Sexuality
Colloquium—one course from the following 3
SXS 680 Colloquium in Human Sexuality  
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  
WGS 595
Anthropology of Women
CFS 320 Children and Families
CFS 321 Adolescents and Families
CFS 426 Family Crises
SXS/PSY 320 Sex in Relationships
SXS 350 Criminalized Sexuality
SXS/ANTH 388 Sex and Colonialism
SXS 401 Discussion of Sexual Variations (1)
SXS 402 Advanced Topics in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Studies
SXS/S S 455 Sex, Power, and Politics
SXS 569 / PHIL 455 Sex and the Law
SOC 464 Families and Society (4)
WGS 590 Androgyny
Humanities and Creative Arts
ART 501 Women's Art History  
BECA 495 Women and Media
COMM 503 Gender and Communication (4)
ENG 618 Studies in Gay and Bisexual Literature
SXS 469 Sex and Morality
WGS 552 Lesbian Lives and Thought
WGS 611 Female Sexuality: Social and Theoretical Perspectives
Counseling Research Education and Field Experience
COUN 605/606 Interviewing Skills Practicum/Interviewing Skills (5/6)  
SXS 550 Fieldwork in Human Sexuality Studies (1-3)
SXS 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.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Required Courses Units
SXS 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
SXS 421/
S S 421
Homophobia and Coming Out  
COMM 525 Sexual Identity and Communication (4)
WGS 552 Lesbian Lives and Thought
One course from the following: 3-5
ENG 633 Gay Love in Literature (4)  
ENG 618 Studies in Gay and Bisexual Literature [all topics]
ENG 604 Literary Aspects of Contemporary Film (5)
WGS 551 Queer Perspectives in Literature and Media
One course from the following: 3
PSY 650/
SXS 600
Research on Sexual Identity  
PSY 320/
SXS 320
Sex and Relationships
COUN 326/
SXS 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]
SXS 400/
SOC 400/
PSY 450
Variations in Human Sexuality
SXS 403/
ART 403
Queer Art History
SXS 436/
PSY 436
The Development of Maleness and Femaleness (4)
SXS 550 Field Service in Human Sexuality Studies (1-3)
SXS 567/
ANTH 569
Cross-cultural Aspects of Sex and Gender
Total for minor 24-28


Graduate Adviser— J.Fields

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 adviser about making up course deficiencies in human sexuality studies.

Applicants must furnish the department the following materials, no later than 15 February for the following fall semester (no spring admissions): a program application with a statement of purpose outlining experience, career objectives, and rationale for studying human sexuality studies at the graduate level; two letters of recommendation; unofficial transcripts of all college course work, indicating a GPA of 3.0 or higher; Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with a minimum score of 4.0 for the "writing assignment" portion of the GRE; TOEFL scores; and a San Francisco State University Application. Applying to the university is a separate process from applying to the department. For detailed information regarding our admissions process please see our website at

The faculty graduate committee evaluates applications for admission, assesses the overall program, and reviews student progress. If a student is not making reasonable progress towards the degree, the committee may recommend termination of candidacy.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: GRE writing score of 4.0 and above or satisfactorily meeting the writing requirements in SXS 800. Level Two: satisfactory completion of Culminating Experience requirements: SXS 894 Creative project or SXS 895 Research Project in Human Sexuality Studies or SXS 898 Master's Thesis.

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 Advancement to Candidacy any course in which the grade received is below B-.

Prerequisite Courses

Completion of the following undergraduate course is also required: BIOL 330, Human Sexuality. Equivalent course work is also acceptable upon petition. Upon admission to the M.A. program, this class must be taken during the first semester in the program.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Requirements Units
SXS 701
SXS 702
Sexual Cultures, Sexual Identities
Sexuality in Historical Perspective
SXS 800 Sociocultural Foundations of Human Sexuality 3
SXS 801 Biological and Psychological Foundations of Human Sexuality 3
SXS 890 Professional Development 3
Research Methodology
SXS 881 Research Methods in Human Sexuality Studies 3
SXS 882 Research Design in Human Sexuality Studies 3
Upon advisement, a student may select from the following courses in lieu of either 881 or 882:  
ANTH 710 Proseminar in Anthropological Theory and Method
COMM 872 Field Research Strategies (4)
GRN 760 Research Methods in Gerontology
HIST 700 History as a Field of Knowledge
ISED 797 Seminar in Educational Research
PSY 742 Seminar in Survey Research
PSY 770 Research Methods and Techniques
PSY 837 Research Methods in Developmental Psychology
Units selected from upper division/graduate courses upon advisement 9
Culminating Experience
SXS 894
SXS 895
SXS 898
Creative Project
Research Project in Human Sexuality Studies
Master's Thesis and Oral Defense of Thesis
Minimum total for degree 30

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