College Courses On Human Sexuality: Education or Titillation?

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About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane,, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. Anthony Zarat says:

    These courses either need to be taught in High School, or not at all.

    This is because (i) a college education is not available to everyone, and the information you describe is general (ie necessary or un-necessary, it applies to everyone, not only those in college), and (ii) the high cost of a college education can only be justified if it results in income generating potential.

  2. Julie Gillis says:

    Thanks Joanna! I’d love to see there be comprehensive sex ed taught in high schools and I see no reason why courses in erotic and sexual literacy couldn’t be taught both in college and also in some kind of non profit model.

    Currently much adult sex ed is taught outside of academic settings (through sites like Good Vibrations) and more, but I worry kids don’t get adequate information about their bodies. Thank goodness for sites like Scarleteen.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    Speaking as a college instructor at a public institution, I’d like to point out that in some places there’s pressure to get as many students as possible into one’s classes, boost enrollment, create buzz for your department, make a name for yourself, justify your existence as a department in light of budget cuts, etc. Sometimes that has a chilling effect on faculty’s willingness to take risks, but sometimes it encourages faculty to sex-up their classes to get more students. If you can work “sex” into the title of a class or in a course description, there’s an automatic bump in your numbers.

    I am also told constantly to appeal to what students know, to reach out to them on their own terms, to speak their language so I can conform my teaching to their particular generational culture. If they use Twitter, they must expect me to use it, too. The customer is always right, that sort of thing. If I were to teach human sexuality to today’s 18-22 year olds, I’d be virtually obligated to focus a lot on internet porn. It’s where they’re coming from, man, so I gotta make it relevant to their lives, you know?

    If you think it’s crucial to have classes like this, then thank God for tenure. Without some protection of academic freedom, colleges and university courses would be no different from high school sex ed. Without tenure, I shudder to think what medical schools would teach future doctors about human sexuality.

  4. Next what? May be colleges would start courses in pornography as well.

    • wet_suit_one says:

      It’s already out there isn’t it?

      And given how poorly some of the porn is shot, there needs to be a school. Seriously! The lighting, camera angles, cum on white backgrounds (the WORST!!! You can’t see ANYTHING!!! Drives me NUTZ!), it’s enough to make you want to spend money to send the lousy directors to film school so they can learn how to make good porn. I’m not joking. Production values matter!!!!

  5. Open sex discussion in high school, college, wherever…I think that’s great…!

    I was in an abusive, controlling relationship throughout college…and found it very hard to talk to other people about it…if you can’t talk about it or name it, how you can find a way out of it?

    I was also harassed by my pre-professional advisor (the ancient guy put his hand on my leg when I went to talk to him about my application to grad school…I never reported him because I was so petrified I wouldn’t get into the grad school of my choice….I finally told someone at my college in the guidance office 3 decades later!)….and also, by a cafeteria worker (that guy I reported and he got fired!)….

    Sex comes in so may different forms…but for me, the most important stuff just gets down to how you treat people…or how you want to be treated…

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