Sexuality Studies  {SF State Bulletin 2012 - 2013}

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Sexuality Studies

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Don Taylor


Department of Sociology

Chair: Edward McCaughan

Sexuality Studies Program

HSS 377
Phone: 415-405-3570
Fax: 415-405-0411



Professors: Herdt, Hoff
Associate Professors: Carrington, Fields, Melendez, Sueyoshi
Assistant Professor: Frost
Associated Faculty: Belkin, Clay, Cohler, Elia, DeVries, Hossfeld, Jenkins, LeBlanc, Martel, Mamo, Mann, Martinez, Moffatt, Sears, Tate, Yep
Lecturers: Angelo, Brown, Chen, Fischer, Gomez, Keegan, Mackenzie, Stevens, Tully, Vallin



Minor in Human Sexuality Studies

Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Master of Arts in Human Sexuality Studies



Program Scope

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 Health and Social Sciences, Liberal & Creative Arts, and Science and Engineering, 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 program 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 to examine the related issues of mixed-gender and cross-gender roles and practices. The minor is broadly interdisciplinary. It draws from courses in anthropology, biology, cinema, counseling, English, history, human sexuality studies, psychology, social sciences, communication studies, and women and gender studies.


Minor in Human Sexuality Studies

Undergraduate Adviser: R. Melendez

The Minor in Human Sexuality Studies 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.)


On-line course descriptions are available.


Introductory Courses

Course Title 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 (3 - 4 units)

One course from the following

Course Title
SXS 436/
PSY 436 
The Development of Femaleness and Maleness (4)
SXS 456/
PSY 456 
The Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior


Socio-Cultural Aspects (6 - 7 units)

Two courses from the following from two different disciplines

Course Title
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 (3 units)

One course from the following

Course Title
SXS 369/
PHIL 369 
Philosophical Issues in Sexuality
SXS 500/
H ED 500 
Values Clarification in Sexuality
HIST 313 History of Love and Sexuality



Course Title
SXS 680 Colloquium in Human Sexuality


Elective Courses (6 units)

Electives on advisement selected from the listings below (may include courses from above not used to satisfy basic requirements)


Total Minimum Courses: 27 - 29 units


Elective courses

Biological Sciences

Course Title
CFS 323 Infant/Toddler Development
BIOL 621 Reproductive Physiology
H ED 414 Women’s Health—Problems and Issues


Behavioral and Social Sciences

Course Title
ANTH 310 Family, Kin, and Community
ANTH 590/
CST 590/
WGS 595 
Anthropology of Women
CFS 320 Children and Families
CFS 321 Adolescents and Families
CFS 426 Family Crises
SXS 320/
PSY 320 
Sex in Relationships
SXS 402 Advanced Topics in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Studies
SXS 455/
S S 455 
Sex, Power, and Politics
SXS 569/
PHIL 455 
Sex and the Law
SOC 464 Families and Society (4)


Humanities and Creative Arts

Course Title
COMM 503 Gender and Communication (4)
SXS 469 Sex and Morality
WGS 552 Transgender Identities and Communities
WGS 611 Theories of Female Sexuality


Counseling Research Education and Field Experience

Course Title
COUN 605/
COUN 606 
Interviewing Skills Practicum/Interviewing Skills (5/6)
SXS 550 Fieldwork in Human Sexuality Studies (1-3)
S W 352 Gender, Sexism, and Social Welfare


Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

The Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies consists of a minimum of 21 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.


On-line course descriptions are available.


Required Courses

Course Title Units
SXS 301 Perspectives in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies 3
SXS 314 Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual History 3


One course from the following (3 - 4 units)

Course Title
SXS 421/
S S 421 
Homophobia and Coming Out
COMM 525 Sexual Identity and Communication (4)
WGS 552 Transgender Identities and Communities


One course from the following (3 - 5 units)

Course Title
ENG 633 Gay Love in Literature (4)
WGS 551 Queer Perspectives in Literature and Media


(3 units)

Course Title
PSY 320/
SXS 320 
Sex and Relationships


Elective units from the following (9 - 10 units)

Course Title
BIOL 330 Human Sexuality
ENG 580 Individual Authors [selected topics on advisement]
SXS 400/
SOC 400/
PSY 450 
Variations in Human Sexuality
SXS 405/
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 units


Master of Arts in Human Sexuality Studies

Graduate Adviser: C. Carrington


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 M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies is designed to meet the following career needs:

  • Preparation for Ph.D. studies and professional schools in the field of psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, medicine, social work, or communication.
  • Preparation for graduate studies professional schools such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, medicine, social work, or communication.
  • Work in public health settings, such as those related to AIDS education, AIDS/HIV treatment and care centers; e.g., the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California at San Francisco, and welfare centers throughout the Bay Area.
  • Preparation for graduate studies and professional schools, in psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, medicine, social work, or communication.
  • Reproductive health education, research, training, and prevention facilities and organizations; i.e., Planned Parenthood.
  • Sexuality education for students at the regional community colleges and at the local school boards that offer or plan to offer courses and curricula on sexuality, including counseling in the secondary schools.
  • Preparation for work in policy or research public policy institutes located at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Service provision and training for service providers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and others that require sensitivity training related to sexuality across the life course and sexual orientation issues.
  • Human resource departments of businesses and corporations, responsible for the provision of sexuality and sexual orientation anti-discrimination and partner benefits areas for employees.
  • Research, policy, and education providers who are needed to fill gay and lesbian agencies and community centers in the Bay Area and elsewhere.


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 graduate program in human sexuality studies, an applicant 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 analytical writing portion of the GRE; TOEFL scores; and an SF State 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 the 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 ATC form 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 master’s 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

Course Title 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

Course Title Units
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 SXS 881 or SXS 882:

Course Title
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


Electives (9 units)

Units selected from upper division/graduate courses upon advisement


Culminating Experience

Course Title Units
SXS 894
SXS 895
SXS 898
Creative Project
Research Project in Human Sexuality Studies
Master’s Thesis
Oral Defense of Thesis

Minimum Total for Degree: 30 units



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