Fall 2020 - HSCI 120 D100

Introduction to Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior (3)

Class Number: 5787

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2020
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



Introductory information about human sexuality across a broad spectrum of topic areas. Sexual function is a fundamental part of a full and healthy life, but misinformation, concerns, problems, and dysfunctions are prevalent. An evidence-based introduction to human sexual function and dysfunction, and normal psychosexual development across a range of sexual behaviors. A perspective on the effects of socialization on sexual attitudes and behavior. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Sexuality lies at the core of our identities as human beings, and though we use the terms “sex, gender, and sexuality” all the time, we rarely stop to think about what they mean or how important our understandings of these terms are for sexual health. This course will provide an introduction and overview of the complexities of human sex, gender, and sexuality in public health research and practice. Our approach will be social constructionist and intersectional. What this means is that we will examine some of the social factors that influence the sexual health of individuals and populations. In doing so, we will consider the relationships between sexual health and colonization, racialization, social class, gender, age, ability, and other factors. Our aim is to deepen our knowledge about sex, gender, and sexuality, to examine the effects of social life on sexual attitudes and behaviors, and to imagine more equitable ways of approaching issues related to sexuality in public health research and practice.

In addition to rethinking conceptualizations of sex, gender, and sexuality and the interconnections between them, our focus will be on addressing some of the sexual health concerns considered important for advancing sexual health (WHO 2020). These include concerns related to:

  • body integrity and sexual safety
  • eroticism
  • gender
  • sexual and affectional orientations
  • reproduction


Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Critically appraise a definition of sexual health
  • Explain the importance of social factors shaping human sexual relationships
  • Understand how sexual health is influenced by intersecting structural factors, such as racialization, social class, gender, age, ability
  • Gain insight into a selected range of sexual health concerns considered important for advancing sexual health
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of human sexes, genders, and sexualities  


  • Participation 10%
  • Short Quizzes 20%
  • Written Assignments 20%
  • Mid-Term Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 25%


The instructor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty and University regulations.


The content of this course covers many aspects of human sexuality and may include topics that are sensitive to some individuals. Please keep in mind that you may be exposed to opinions that differ considerably from your own. It is expected that everyone will conduct themselves with respect for the rights and feelings of others by recognizing the potential sensitivity of such topics and responding appropriately to others’ reactions.



There will be no textbook for this course. All required readings, including book chapters and journal articles, will be available via the Internet or through Canvas and SFU Library.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).