By Heather Murray – 1851 Staff
Students in Sarabeth Golden’s psychology class are talking a lot more about sex in the classroom than they usually do. That’s because Professor Golden is teaching Human Sexuality, and has an in-depth project that students are working on to help them understand sexual issues around the world.
The project consists of five groups of students, all researching specific world-wide issues involving human sexuality. The groups are focusing on people’s knowledge around sexuality in general, researching ways to set sexual boundaries for yourself and others, and tackling the awkward situations of catcalling and harassment. The last two groups are working on similar subjects of casual sex and the double standards that come with having sex.
“It’s interesting, the project has made me more aware of catcalling and harassment in everyday life,” said junior Lenora Ellison, a student in Golden’s class. “The class can be super awkward, but I love it. We learn a lot.”
“They are coming up with a subject that they can either research the problem or try to find a solution to solve it,” said Golden.
Professor Golden said the point of the project is to have students gain knowledge about the issue they are researching. “I want them to ask what their subject is about, what is the intention, what is the effect,” she said.
She also said she wanted the students to learn how to collaborate with each other in preparation for after-college careers where they will have to work with other people.
“They will be learning by doing and finishing projects,” she said. “I wanted them to do a project based on human sexuality where they are researching a problem, and the problem has to be relevant, something related to the campus.”
This isn’t the first time Golden has taught the class but she changed the curriculum over the summer after realizing that in the age of the Internet, anyone could learn the technical terms of human sexuality. She said she originally wanted to teach it because it taught a new side of psychology that she and others didn’t really talk about. “This is a class the kids can get excited about, as it can be pretty provocative. We close the door a lot. The words we say and the things we talk about aren’t things you normally say in a classroom.”
The feedback from her class in the past has been positive. The new semester of students are facing more work with the change in curriculum, but Golden is confident they will get a lot out of it.
“Research shows that students learn more in a project-based course rather than a content-based course,” she said.