Female Sexuality


    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    Asia A. Eaton, Ph.D.
    DM 208 (MMC)
    By Appointment
    Please use Blackboard course messages
    Edward Sullivan  

    Course Description And Purpose

    Course Purpose: This course will present a psychological orientation toward the study of female sexuality. Topics include: sexual anatomy, sexual response cycle, sex and gender development, sexual attraction and relationships, reproductive health issues, sexual disorders and sex therapy, sexual orientation, and social issues in sexuality. This course is an elective for most majors, and fulfills a requirement for the Women's Studies major/certificate.

    Expectations: The format for this class is completely online. You will be required to read the assigned chapters in their entirety, participate in online discussions with your classmates, take three exams, summarize and critique a scholarly article, and complete a short reaction paper. There will be supplemental material posted to help you gain mastery of the readings. This material may include PowerPoint presentations, polls, handouts, practice quizzes, and links to websites and articles. These resources will help you understand the material; however they are NOT a substitute for reading the assigned chapters in the required textbooks. The most important piece of advice is to check the course on a daily basis and ask questions if you are unsure about things.

    Course Objectives

    The goal of this course is to not only familiarize students with specific issues related to human sexuality (with an emphasis on female sexuality) but to also help students feel more comfortable with thinking and talking about sexuality and gender issues. It is hoped you will leave this class with a firm knowledge of the issues within female sexuality as well as how to become responsible decision-makers in an important aspect of your lives.

    Upon completion of this course, students will:

    1. Increase their knowledge of human sexuality and how it relates to women and gender.
      • Methods for assessing this learning objective: Exams, Weekly Discussion Participation, Final Paper
    2. Understand the connection between female sexuality and feminism.
      • Methods for assessing this learning objective: Exams, Weekly Discussion Participation, Final Paper
    3. Become familiar with psychological research methods and other methods used to study sexuality and relationships, enabling the student to read research and media reports critically.
      • Methods for assessing this learning objective: Exams, Weekly Discussion Participation, Research Participation
    4. Discuss course topics respectfully and critically as they relate to personal experiences, the experiences of others, and within society as a whole.
      • Methods for assessing this learning objective: Weekly Discussion Participation

    Important Information


    Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses.

    Technical Requirements & Skills

    One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

    This course utilizes the following tools:

    1. Microsoft PowerPoint
    2. Turnitin

    Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

    Accessibility And Accommodation

    Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

    Please visit Blackboard's Commitment Accessibility webpage for more information. 

    For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

    Course Prerequisites

    This course contains the following prerequisites: PSY 2012 or WST 3015

    Proctored Exam Policy

    This course does not contain on-campus/proctored exams.


    Textbook Image
    Understanding Human Sexuality (Required)
    Janet Hyde, John DeLamater
    McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 05/22/2013
    ISBN-10: 0078035392
    ISBN-13: 9780078035395
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.
    Textbook Image
    The Vagina Monologues (Required)
    Eve Ensler
    Villard Books, 01/23/2001
    ISBN-10: 0375505652
    ISBN-13: 9780375505652
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

    Expectations Of This Course

    This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

    Students are expected to:

    • Sign the Course Agreement (this also gives you access to course materials)
    • Review the “how to get started” information located in the course content
    • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self-introduction in the appropriate discussion forum
    • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard
    • Interact online with the instructor and your peers
    • Review and follow the course calendar
    • Log in to the course multiple times a week (ideally, every day)
    • Respond to discussion board threads
    • Respond to messages within 1-2 days
    • Submit assignments by the corresponding deadline
    • Track your course progress by reviewing the My Grades section each week. If you have concerns about a grade you will contact Dr. Eaton within one week (7 days) of receiving the grade.

    The instructor will:

    • Log in to the course every day Monday-Friday
    • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 1-2 days
    • Respond to Blackboard messages within 1-2 days
    • Grade discussion posts within one week and papers within two weeks of the paper deadline
    • Post announcements any time there is a change in the course or issue with the course

    Doing well in this course:

    Online courses are special in that they require that students be highly self-motivated. All students are REQUIRED to regularly check their Blackboard Course Mail and the Discussion Forum area. Remember, your postings to the discussion board make up a significant portion of your grade.


    • Sign in to the course every day. Keep up to date with chapter readings and posted lectures; these are the basis for exam questions.
    • Utilize the chapter outlines to focus how you approach your readings.
    • Handing assignments in on time and taking exams during the allotted period is key. Failure to do so will result in an automatic zero (0) for that assignment. There are no make-ups for assignments or exams unless formal documentation of personal illness or emergency can be provided.

    Course Detail

    Course Communication

    Communication in this course will take place via Messages.

    Messages is a private and secure text-based communication system which occurs within a course among its Course members. Users must log on to Blackboard to send, receive, or read messages. The Messages tool is located on the Course Menu, on the left side of the course webpage. It is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication. 

    Visit our Writing Resources webpage for more information on professional writing and technical communication skills.

    Discussion Forums

    Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

    Weekly Discussion Participation (70 points total): There are 11 weeks in which there will be a weekly discussion topic that asks each student to respond and post on the Discussion Board regarding the topic. Each student is expected to respond to 7 weekly discussions (each worth 10 points), therefore, you can choose to skip four weekly discussions. As such no make-ups are allowed for weekly discussion posts.

    Weekly Discussion Participation Instructions: Participation in this online course means weekly discussion posts and is worth 70 points, or 19.44% of your final grade. This is a very important component of this course. Your grade will be assessed by reviewing your responses to the weekly discussion questions for each week. There are 11 weekly discussions and you must complete at least 7 of them. Discussion posts are worth up to 10 points each. The deadline for responses is Sunday at 12:00pm (noon) of that class week. Late responses will not be graded.

    Your weekly postings will be graded based on your ability to answer the discussion question in a thoughtful and intelligent way. Keep in mind that these posts are meant to flow as dialogue between all students enrolled in the class. It is very important that you reference your readings in these weekly posts as just making a post does not guarantee points. Your grade for each post will be based on the QUALITY of your response. Hence, giving blanket “I agree/I disagree” answers will not be accepted. It is also important that you read at least some of the other student postings as the discussion forum is meant to serve as an open discussion between all students. I highly recommend reading previous posts so that you don’t write similar ideas. Part of the grading criteria includes the student’s ability to add value to the ongoing discussion via personal experiences or outside sources. Weekly postings should be no longer than two paragraphs and should show your understanding of the week's readings. Again, simply posting your opinion will not guarantee you any points for the week so please make connections to the readings!

    Please be respectful of other students. Keep in mind that some of the information discussed in a sexuality course may be sensitive to some students. You are free to express any opinions you have but please do so in a respectful, intelligible manner. Students who abuse this forum by making harassing, inappropriate or abusive comments will be removed and receive a zero (0) for the class. Likewise, if you notice any abuse on the forums please let me know so that appropriate action can be taken.

    Grading Criteria for Discussion Posts:

    1. Clarity (2pts) – ideas are presented clearly and are easily understood
    2. References (2pt)– ties discussion posting to course readings
    3. Substance (4pts)–answers are presented in a thoughtful and intelligent manner; answers show that the student has read the course material and has tied the material to his or her own previous experiences/knowledge.
    4. Thoroughness (2pt)- answers are complete; responses address all parts of the discussion question


    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

    Exams (210 points total): Exams are intended to assess your understanding, retention, and knowledge of material covered in lectures and in the textbook. There will be three exams in this course. Each exam is worth 70 points, or 19.44% of your final grade.

    Exam Instructions: Each exam will have 35 multiple-choice and true/false, questions. Exams will be posted for a limited amount of time and after that time frame, you will not receive credit for that exam. You have multiple days to take the exam but once you start the exam you must finish it within the 45 minutes you are allotted. The exams will cover the material from the text book as well as additional lecture information. There are no make-ups for exams.

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Please note that the following information only applies if your course requires the use of the Respondus LockDown Browser to take assessments.

    • Review the Respondus LockDown Browser Instructions on how to install, access your assessments and view your grades.
    • After installing the browser, please take the Practice Quiz to familiarize yourself with the testing environment and to ensure that you have downloaded the Respondus Lockdown Browser correctly.


    Reaction Paper (70 points): This 4-page, APA-style writing assignment is intended to assess your ability to understand and apply course materials. For this assignment, you will be using the Vagina Monologues. You are to select one monologue and use course concepts (theories, research findings, ideas) to shed light on and elaborate on the monologue. The Reaction Paper is worth 70 points, or 19.44% of your final grade.

    Paper lengths are spelled out in Instructions below, and papers should be in APA (American Psychological Association) format. You can get more information about APA guidelines in the latest edition of the APA Manual (available at the library or bookstore). A summary of APA format for your Reaction Paper is also in the Assignment Instructions folder in Blackboard.

    Reaction Paper Instructions: The Reaction Paper is meant to serve as a tool where you may link information you receive during our class to ideas and topics outside of class. In this paper you should show how the concepts you learned about in class apply within the monologue and how what you learned in class helped you to better appreciate and understand the monologue. The Reaction Paper is also a good opportunity to express opinions about class material. However, your paper should reference important concepts and information in the readings. Simply writing your opinion about a topic will not yield a satisfactory grade. Feel free to use other sources of information such as journal articles, books and newspaper articles. Please limit your use of Internet search engines for information (Google, yahoo, etc.) since much of the information on the Internet is not referenced and cannot be verified. Your Reaction Paper should be 4 pages in length not counting the Title Page or Reference Pages (double-spaced, 1 inch margins all around, 12-point font) in APA format.

    The Reaction Paper must be submitted through the Turnitin submission area for this assignment in Blackboard’s Assignment Dropbox.

    Research Participation (10 points): One way of understanding the research process is to participate in ongoing research. Each student is required to participate in university-sponsored research in the Department of Psychology worth one SONA credit. A listing of the available studies can be found at Technical questions and concerns regarding these studies can be addressed to One SONA credit typically means about 1 hour of research participation. One SONA credit will earn you 10 points in this class, or 2.77% of your final grade. Research can be completed online as well as on campus, and should be completed by the last day of formal classes of the semester (a Friday). Research participation credits will be posted at the end of the term.

    Please note that the following information only applies if your course requires the use of Turnitin to submit your assignments.

    • Review the detailed Turnitin Instructions on how to submit your assignments and how to review the Grademark comments (feedback) from your professor.


    Course Requirements Number of Items Points for Each Total Points Available Weight
    Exams 3 70 210 58.33%
    Weekly Discussion 7 10 70 19.44%
    Reaction Paper 1 70 70 19.44%
    Research Participation 1 10 10 2.77%
    Total     360 100%
    Letter Range Letter Range Letter Range
    A 93 – 100% B- 80 – 82% D+ 67 – 69%
    A- 90 – 92% C+ 77 – 79% D 63 – 66%
    B+ 87 – 89% C 73 – 76% D- 60 – 62%
    B 83 – 86% C- 70 – 72% F 0 – 59%

    The Fine Print

    Missed Exams: You have 5 whole days to take course exams. Students who provide proper documentation of a personal medical illness or emergency may take a make-up exam. If you know that you must be absent on the day of an exam for an approved reason and let me know in advance, we can make arrangements for you to take the regular exam (or an alternate version of it) at a mutually agreeable time. If you fail to take an exam within the allotted time without having given me prior warning, and you cannot provide documentation of a personal illness or emergency, you will receive a zero (0) for that exam.

    Incomplete Grades: As per university guidelines a grade of incomplete will only be given in extreme circumstances (e.g., serious illness, death in the family, etc.) and if THE BULK of the coursework has been completed. You will be required to provide documentation. Being overextended at home/work/school is not a valid reason for an incomplete grade.

    Cheating & Plagiarism: In general, I encourage students to work and study collaboratively, sharing information and insights. However, there are times when your work must be your own—for instance, on exams or writing assignments. You must give credit where credit is due at all times, whether this means citing the source of quoted or paraphrased material. If you fail to adhere to the rules of academic honesty, you will receive a score of “0” for any assignment that is plagiarized. I also am obligated to report you to the appropriate Florida International University authorities. If you have any doubts in your mind about what constitutes cheating or plagiarism, see me. Adherence to the FIU policy on plagiarism and cheating is expected at all times. If you have any questions in your mind about this, please contact your department for further details.

    Expectations for Written Assignments

    • No Spelling Errors: There are numerous tools out there to avoid spelling mistakes. Accuracy in spelling is a sign of thoroughness and professionalism. Poor spelling and grammar stops me from seeing your ideas clearly.
    • Use of Good Writing Principles: Directness in style, use of transitions, use of introductions and conclusions, and having good structure are some basic principles to good writing. You may review Strunk and White’s Elements of Style for more information on good writing techniques.
    • ON TIME: All assignments are due as assigned on this syllabus unless you are told otherwise by me. Of course, if there is a legitimate reason that you cannot turn something in on time, you will not be penalized. However, you should make contact with me in the event that you cannot turn something in on time and, to avoid penalty, provide an official excuse. Papers that are not turned in the day and time they are due will not be accepted. As for my part, I will commit to returning your exams and graded work back to you in a timely fashion.

    Finally, anything on this syllabus is subject to change at the Instructor's discretion.

    I hope you enjoy the course!

    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    Date Topic Assignments
    Week 1
    August 24 - 30
    • Chapter 1: Sexuality in Perspective
    • Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality
    • Discussion 1 Post: Due Sunday, August 30 by Noon.
    Week 2
    August 31 - September 6
    • Chapter 3: Sex Research
    • Chapter 4: Sexual Anatomy
    • Discussion 2 Post: Due Sunday, September 6 by Noon.
    Week 3
    September 7 - 13
    • Chapter 5: Sex Hormones, Sexual Differentiation, and the Menstrual Cycle
    • Discussion 3 Post: Due Sunday, September 13 by Noon.
    Week 4
    September 14 - 20
    • Chapter 6: Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth
    • Discussion 4 Post: Due Sunday, September 20 by Noon.
    Week 5
    September 21 - 27
    • Chapter 7: Contraception and Abortion
    • Discussion 5 Post: Due Sunday, September 27 by Noon.
    Week 6
    September 28 - 4
    • Chapter 8: Sexual Arousal
    • Exam 1 (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7): Available Monday, September 28 at 8:00 AM until Friday, October 2 at 11:55 PM
    • No Discussion Post this week
    Week 7
    October 5 - 11
    • Chapter 9: Sexuality and the Life Cycle: Childhood and Adolescence
    • Chapter 10: Sexuality and the Life Cycle: Adulthood
    • Discussion 6 Post: Due Sunday, October 11 by Noon.
    Week 8
    October 12 - 18
    • Chapter 11: Attraction, Love & Communication
    • Discussion 7 Post: Due  Sunday, October 18 by Noon.
    Week 9
    October 19 - 25
    • Chapter 12: Gender and Sexuality
    • Discussion 8 Post: Due Sunday, October 25 by Noon.
    Week 10
    October 26 - November 1
    • Chapter 13: Sexual Orientation
    • Vagina Monologues Reaction Paper: Due Sunday, November 1 by Noon.
    Week 11
    November 2 - 8
    • Chapter 14: Variations in Sexual Behavior
    • Discussion 9 Post: Due Sunday, November 8 by Noon.
    Week 12
    November 9 - 15
    • Chapter 15: Sexual Coercion
    • Exam 2 (Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14): Available Monday, November 9 at 8:00 AM until Friday, November 13 at 11:55 PM
    • No Discussion Post this week.
    Week 13
    November 16 - 22
    • Chapter 16: Sex for Sale
    • Chapter 17: Sexual Disorders and Sex Therapy
    • Discussion 10 Post: Due Sunday, November 22 by Noon.
    Week 14
    November 23 - 29
    • Chapter 18: Sexually Transmitted Infections
    • THANKSGIVING - No Discussion Post this week.
    Week 15
    November 30 - December 6
    • Chapter 19: Ethics, Religion, and Sexuality
    • Chapter 20: Sex and the Law
    • Discussion 11 Post: Due Sunday, December 6 by Noon.
    Week 16
    December 7 - 12
    • Exam 3 (Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20): Available Monday, December 7 at 8:00 AM until Friday, December 11 at 11:55 PM
    • No Discussion Post this week.