Most students grow up hearing the metaphor of “the birds and the bees” and listening to brief, and often frightening lectures on sex education. Sexuality is a much deeper concept than likening it to sex itself, however. Gender identity, sexual orientation and thorough anatomy lessons are aspects of sexuality that are glossed over in middle school and sometimes high school sex education classes.
Human Sexuality, the appropriately titled Psychology 25 class, discusses such topics that students may have missed out on previously. Taught only by Dr. Jennifer Noble this semester, students have a safe environment to learn and explore the components of sexuality.
“[Students] learn about a lot of topics that are talked about in the media, but maybe they don’t have good background on,” said Noble. “Sexual orientation and gender issues are definitely hot topics and we spend a lot of time talking about those.”
While it might feel awkward to discuss such a private subject, students should not shy away from the judgment-free nature of the class.
“A lot of students wouldn’t know [what] questions to ask because they haven’t even been open to these topics,” said Noble.
Understanding sexuality is an “extremely important” concept for students according to Noble since sexuality is part of everyday life.
“You are addressing sexuality in your everyday life all the time…whether it be sexual orientation…relationships, love, it’s all related to sexuality,” she said.
The class is tailored to focus on human interactions and the role sexuality plays in relationships. Students tend to show more interest in topics such as love, intimacy and relationships as a result and generally enjoy the course.
“It was a positive and pleasant experience,” said Phyllis Lun, now a student at UC Berkeley. “Sexuality is not a commonly discussed topic in our society.”
Lun recalls being fascinated with the “developmental aspect of sexuality” and how sexuality is involved throughout the lifespan. Although Lun wished there was more discussion on sexual assault prevention, time did not allow for deeper dialogue compared to the main topics.
Martha Castro, who’s currently enrolled in the class, said it’s one of her favorite classes that she’s taken. So far, Castro enjoys the discussions and video clips on gender roles and sexism the most, specifically how men and women are perceived in society.
“Men are being taught in society to view women as objects and that’s creating a problem for us as they are being desensitized,” said Castro.
Additionally, Castro is fascinated with “the effects of love in the brain” since she found out a series of chemical changes occur in the brain during feelings of love.
As for the impact on students, Noble feels that the class acts as an awakening experience.
“It ends up being very empowering because when they can know more about issues related to sexuality, they automatically think of themselves and they automatically understand themselves or their family members better.”
- Courier Convos: Reporting on Religion - November 11, 2019
- Courier Convos: Dispelling Magical Misconceptions - October 24, 2019
- Courier Convos: Blizzard Entertainment’s Backlash Snowballs - October 17, 2019
- Courier Convos: (Coming) Out with it! - October 9, 2019
- Union Station’s Retrocade experience falls short of high score - October 3, 2019
- Courier Convos: Latinx Heritage Month - September 25, 2019
- Hey ‘safe space’ bar: chokeholds aren’t inclusive - September 4, 2019
- Five veterans certified through Project Choice - May 4, 2015
- Cataloging civil rights - April 30, 2015
- Terminally ill have right to die with dignity - April 16, 2015