Psychology 2076A 650 FW23

The Psychology of Sex

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Fall/Winter 2023-2024 


Psychology 2076A  Section 650 

The Psychology of Sex 





Welcome to “The Psychology of Sex”! This course explores human sexual behaviour from a psychological perspective. Topics include historical perspectives on sexual behaviour; theory and methodology in sex research; the physiology and development of sexual function; gender and sexual orientation; attraction, love and sex in relationships; sexual health; coercion; and sex work.   


Antirequisite: Psychology 2075 


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course. 


Prerequisite: Not Applicable 





Instructor: Ms. Eun Ju Son (she/her) 

Office Hours: Fridays 4:00 – 5:00 pm (by appointment)  



Teaching Assistant: Olivia Hayley Richards  

Office Hours: TBD (check the course website!) 



Instructor: My name is Eun Ju Son (my first name is “Eun Ju” but “Eunju” is also fine! “Eun” rhymes with listen, kitten, or Kingston) and I use she/her pronoun. I’ll be your instructor for the course! I hold a master’s degree in psychology and I am a PhD candidate in the social-personality area of psychology at Queen’s. My supervisor is Dr. Sari van Anders and my research interest involves gender, feminism, intersection of race/ethnicity and gender/sex to explain social oppression and marginalized experiences. I’m from South Korea and currently in Toronto!  


The best way to contact me is via email. Please send emails only from your Western email account. I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible, but please allow two business days (48 hours) before following up. If you email me on Friday, for example, expect a response by the following Tuesday. When you email, please include ‘PSYCH 2076A’ in your email title (and I’ll be sure to prioritize it). 


Office hours:  I'll be hosting virtual office hours every Friday from 4 pm to 5 pm. To ensure that I can adequately assist you, these office hours will be by appointment. Please send me an email with your question by 5 pm on Thursdays, which is 24 hours before the office hours session. This will give me the opportunity to prepare and provide a thorough response to your query.  


Olivia will also have her weekly office hours, although the specific time is yet to be determined. It's recommended that you email Olivia in advance, ideally 24 hours before her office hours. However, you can also drop in without an appointment. Please be aware that in the latter case, Olivia might not have an immediate answer for your question. In such instances, she will get back to you via email with the necessary information. 


Forum: Given that our class is conducted asynchronous, Olivia and I, the teaching team, will be managing a forum. This forum serves as a platform for you to ask any general questions related to the course. We'll make every effort to provide answers within 48 business hours. Your posts on the forum will be initially reviewed by the teaching team only. Depending on the nature of your question, we will decide whether to share it publicly or keep it private. For example, if your question is related to general course information, such as which topics to study for the first midterm, we will probably share it publicly. This way, other students who might have the same question can also benefit from the answer. However, if you prefer to keep your post private, you can specify this in your message. In such cases, we will not share the question publicly. 


Time and Location of Classes: Asynchronous. You will not be required to attend any weekly class sessions. Delivery Method: Virtual  


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice: 
Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students.  



The following material is available from the campus bookstore : 


Pukall CF (editor). Human Sexuality: A Contemporary Introduction, Third Edition. Oxford University Press, 2020. Please note that the third edition is REQUIRED for this course. 





Please note that this course will involve explicit consideration, readings, imagery, and discussion of these topics, behaviours, and experiences. Please consider the nature of the course material before deciding to continue in this course.  


By the end of this course, successful students will be able to: 


  • Compare and contrast historical and contemporary perspectives of sexuality. 
  • Identify the major structures of the genitals and describe their functions and complexity and compare their optimal and nonoptimal functioning. 
  • Explain the diversity and fluidity of sexuality, in particular, genital anatomy, sexual response, sexual behaviour, sexual and relationship configurations, gender/sex identity and experiences, and sexual orientation. 
  • Justify whether sexual concerns are diagnosable or not, and integrate knowledge about diagnosable sexual dysfunctions into case studies. 
  • Approach sexuality research, theories, and sexual scripts with critical perspectives  


Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


  • Understand human sexuality, sexuality theories, research methodologies, and results 

Readings and lessons 


  • Critically evaluate theories, research methods, and findings from the study of human sexuality 

Readings and lessons 


  • Communicate ideas clearly and concisely, in language accessible to a non-specialist audience  






The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


  1. Exams (100% of final mark) 
  1. This class includes two midterm exams (each worth 30%) and a final exam (worth 40%), which will be administered synchronously online. Exams will cover material from both the textbook and the OWL lessons. The final exam will be cumulative (i.e., it will assess material from the entire course) with an emphasis on material from Lessons 7-9).  
  1. Exams in this course will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded. Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 




Exams: If you don’t take the exam at the designated time, unfortunately you’ll be given a score of zero, unless you have academic accommodations from Academic Dean’s office. There won’t be any rescheduled exams for midterms. In cases where you have academic accommodations to “miss” this exam, the corresponding portion of the course grad will be transferred to the final exam. The format of the makeup final exam might be in a different format (think short-answer or essay) compared to the usual exam.  




The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 




  • Midterm Exam 1 (Lessons 1 to 3) : 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday, October 15th (tentative) 
  • Midterm Exam 2 (Lessons 4 to 6) : 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 12th (tentative) 
  • Final Exam (Cumulative) : TBA (December exam period)  




Week 1 (September 11 – 17) Introduction  

  • Introduction to the course & syllabus 


Week 2 (September 18 – 24) What Is Sex(uality)?  

  • Required materials 
  • Video: Lesson 1 “What Is Sex(uality)?” 
  • Reading: Ch. 1& 2 


Week 3 (September 25 – October 1) Genital Anatomy & Sexual Response 

  • Required materials 
  • Video: Lesson 2 “Genital Anatomy & Sexual Response” 
  • Reading: Ch. 4 


Week 4(October 2 – October 8) Sex Research 

  • Required materials 
  • Video: Lesson 3 “Sex Research”  
  • Reading: Ch. 3 


Week 5 (October 9 – October 15) Mid-Term Exam 1 (Synchronous, October 15th  

  • No class. Mid-term 1 covers Week 2 to Week 4.  


Week 6 (October 16 – October 22) Sexual Communication, Behaviours, and Relationships 

  • Required materials 
  • Video: Lesson 4 “Sexual Communication, Behaviours, and Relationships”  
  • Reading: Ch. 13 & 14 


Week 7 (October 23 – October 29) Gender/Sex 

  • Required materials 
  • Video: Lesson 5 “Gender/Sex” 
  • Conover, K.J., Matsuno, E., & Bettergarcia, J. (2021). Pronoun fact sheet [Fact sheet]. American Psychological Association, Division 44: The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. 
  • van Anders, S. M., Galupo, M. P., Irwin, J., Twist, M. L. C., Reynolds, C. J., Easterbrook, R. B. C., & Hoskin R. A. (2019). Talking about transgender experiences, identities, and existences. 
  • Schudson, Z. C., & Morgenroth, T. (2022). Non-binary gender/sex identities. Current Opinion in Psychology, 48, 101499. 


Week 8 (October 30 – November 5) Reading Week (No class) 


Week 9 (November 6 – November 12) Sexual Orientation & Mid-Term Exam 2 (Synchronous, November 12th 

  • Required materials: 
  • Video: Lesson 6 “Sexual Orientation” 
  • Reading: Ch. 11 
  • SCT zine  
  • Iantaffi, A., Barker, M. -J., Scheele, J., & van Anders, S. M. (2018). Mapping your sexuality: From sexual orientation to sexual configurations theory. [Zine] 
  • Mid-term 2 covers Week 6 to Week 9 
  • The Week 9 video will be posted ahead of the reading week to make sure you've got ample time to study the material 


Week 10 (November 13 – November 19) Variations of Sexual Behaviours  

  • Required materials:  
  • Video: Lesson 7 “Variations of Sexual Behaviours” 
  • Reading: Ch. 15 (P. 342 – P. 349 only)  


Week 11 (November 20 – November 26) Sexual Dysfunctions  

  • Required materials: 
  • Video: Lesson 8 “Sexual Dysfunctions” 
  • Reading: Ch. 16  


Week 12 (November 27 – December 3) Coerced Sex  

  • Required materials:  
  • Video: Lesson 9 “Coerced Sex”  
  • Reading: Ch. 17 


Week 13 Final exam (Dec final exam period) 




We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 



Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.