Course Syllabus
Female Sexuality
Professor Information
Professor's Photo
Asia A. Eaton, Ph.D.
DM 445A, MMC
Office Hours:
By appointment
Course Description

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.
  2. Understand the connection between female sexuality and feminism.
  3. Become familiar with the methods used in research on sexuality, and their limitations, so that they can read research reports critically and intelligently.
  4. Discuss course topics respectfully and critically as they relate to personal experiences, the experiences of others, and within society as a whole.

Please review the policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for online courses.

Course Prerequisites

PSY 2012 or WST 3015

For information about prerequisites, click here.

Textbook cover

Understanding Human Sexuality (Required)
Hyde, J. & Delamater, J.
McGraw Hill, 11th ed. (2011).

Click here to buy your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

Textbook cover

The Vagina Monologues (Required)
Ensler, E.
Villard. (2001)

Expectations of this Course

This is an online course, meaning that the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as for a traditional course; in fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students.

Students are expected to:

  • 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 boards, blogs and journal postings
  • Respond to emails/messages within 1-2 days
  • Submit assignments by the corresponding deadline

The instructor will:

  • Log in to the course every day of the week
  • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 1-2 days
  • Respond to emails/messages within 1-2 days
  • Grade discussion posts within one week and papers within two weeks of the paper deadline
  • Track their course progress each week by reviewing the My Grades section each week. If you have have concerns about a grade you will contact Dr. Eaton within one week (7 days) of receiving the grade.

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 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 proper documentation of personal illness or emergency can be provided.


Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via blackboard messages.


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.

Exams (300 points): 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 100 points, or 20% of your final grade.

Exam Instructions: Each exam will have 50 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 a couple of days to take the exam but once you start the exam you must finish it within the 1 hour 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.

There will be three exams in this course, 1 hour in length each. Each exam is worth 100 points, or 20% of your final grade.

Exam 1 (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Examination Period: Thursday (June 7) @ 8:00 AM  - Sunday (June 10) @ 11:55 PM

Exam 2 (Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Examination Period: Thursday (July 12) @ 8:00 AM  - Sunday (July 15) @ 11:55 PM

Exam 3 (Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Examination Period: Thursday (August 9) @ 8:00 AM  - Sunday (August 12) @ 11:55 PM

Weekly Discussion Participation

Keep in mind that forum discussions are public, and care should be taken when determining what to post.

Weekly Discussion Participation (70 total points): There are 9 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 two 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 14% 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 9 weekly discussions and you must complete at least 7 of them. Discussion posts are worth up to 10 points. The deadline for responses is Sunday at 12:00pm (noon) of the same 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:
a) Clarity (2pts) – ideas are presented clearly and are easily understood
b) References (2pt)– ties discussion posting to course readings
c) 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.
d) Thoroughness (2pt)- answers are complete; responses address all parts of the discussion question

Reaction Paper

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 14% 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 under "Assignments" 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.

Reaction Paper: Vagina Monologues Reaction Paper due by noon (12:00PM) Sunday, July 29

Article Summary

Article Summary (45 points): You will be required to search for a peer-reviewed journal article and summarize and critique it in a 3-page paper.

Article Summary Instructions: For this assignment you will have to use the PsycINFO database to find a psychology journal article related to any aspect of female sexuality and critique it (i.e., discuss the merits and limitations of the research). This assignment is worth 45 points, or 9% of your final grade. The article must have been published in the past 5 years and can be related to any topic we covered in the course thus far. Your summary and critique should be 3 pages, double spaced, 12-point font with 1 inch margins all around. Specific expectations for the Article Summary can be found in the “Assignment Instructions” folder under "Assignments" in Blackboard.

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

Article Summary: Due by noon (12:00pm) on Sunday, July 1

Research Participation

Research Participation (15 points):  One way of understanding the research process is to participate in ongoing research. Each student is required to participate in one (1) hour of university-sponsored research in the Department of Psychology. A listing of the available studies can be found at Technical questions and concerns regarding these studies can be addressed to Research credit is worth 15 points or 3% of your final grade. Research can be completed online and on campus. Please let me know if you have questions about this.

Research Participation (15 points):  to be completed by August 10th

Adobe Connect Pro Meeting

The Adobe Connect Pro Meeting is an online meeting room in which you can interact with your Professor and fellow students by sharing your computer, screens or files, chat, broadcast live audio and take part in other interactive online activities.

Requirements for using Adobe Connect Pro Meeting:

  • Disable any window pop-up blocker.
  • Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Connect Pro meeting. You can test your computer to make sure that you are set up with all of the tools you will need to participate in the meeting.
  • Use of a combination headset and microphone  with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties.

    Please click here for additional information on Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help).
Course Requirements Points Weight
Exams 300 Points (100 each) 60%
Weekly Discussion 70 Points (10 each) 14%
Reaction Paper 70 Points 14%
Article Summary 45 Points 9%
Research Participation 15 Points 3%
Total 500 Points 100%


Range Letter
A 90 - 100% D 60 - 69%
B 80 - 89% F 50 - 59%
C 70 - 79%    
Weekly Schedule

** This schedule is tentative and subject to change as necessary

Date Reading Project Assignments
May 7 (Week 1)
Ch. 1: Sexuality in Perspective
Ch. 2: Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality
Discussion 1 post due by noon Sunday (May 13)
May 14 (Week 2) Ch. 3: Sex Research
Ch. 4: Sexual Anatomy
Discussion 2 post due by noon Sunday (May 20)
May 21 (Week 3) Ch. 5: Sex Hormones, Sexual Differentiation, and the Menstrual Cycle Discussion 3 post due by noon Sunday (May 27)
May 28 (Week 4) Ch. 6: Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth Discussion 4 post due by noon Sunday (June 3)
June 4 (Week 5) Ch. 7: Contraception and Abortion
Exam 1 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Examination Period:
Thursday (June 7) @ 8:00 AM - Sunday (June 10) @ 11:55 PM
(no Discussion Post this week)
June 11 (Week 6) Ch. 8: Sexual Arousal
Ch. 9: Sexuality and the Life Cycle: Childhood and Adolescence
Discussion 5 post due by noon Sunday (June 17)
June 18 (Week 7) Ch. 10: Sexuality and the Life Cycle: Adulthood Discussion 6 post due by noon Sunday (June 24)
June 25 (Week 8) Ch. 11: Attraction, Love & Communication Article Summary due by noon on Sunday (July 1)
(no Discussion Post this week)
July 2 (Week 9) Ch. 12: Gender and Sexuality
Ch. 13: Sexual Orientation
Discussion 7 post due by noon Sunday (July 8)
July 9 (Week 10) Ch. 14: Variations in Sexual Behavior Exam 2 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Examination Period:
Thursday (July 12) @ 8:00 AM - Sunday (July 15) @ 11:55 PM
(no Discussion Post this week)
July 16 (Week 11) Ch. 15: Sexual Coercion
Ch. 16: Sex for Sale
Discussion 8 post due by noon Sunday (July 22)
July 23 (Week 12) Ch. 17: Sexual Disorders and Sex Therapy Vagina Monologues Reaction Paper due by noon Sunday (July 29)
(no Discussion Post this week)
July 30 (Week 13)
Ch. 18: Sexually Transmitted Infections
Ch. 19: Ethics, Religion, and Sexuality
Discussion 9 post due by noon Sunday (August 5)
Aug 6 (Week 14) Ch. 20: Sex and the Law Exam 3 (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Examination Period:
Thursday (August 9) @ 8:00 AM - Sunday (August 12) @ 11:55 PM
(no Discussion Post this week)