There are four kinds of 50 pt. written assignments which include: sex histories, field observations, the sex & marriage research project and an essay. You may do a combination of these, depending on the grading option you choose.
Specifications for Written Assignments:
Assignments must be typed (use a computer) in a standard font (e.g. Times New Roman), in 11 or 12 points, using both upper and lower case script, double-spaced on 8 1/2 x 11" white paper and stapled on the left hand corner. Your report should have standard margins and contain 4-5 pages of written text. When outside sources are used, include a bibliography and footnotes.
For this assignment you will review your own sexual history. Oral reports are not expected for this assignment. What you turn in will be kept in complete confidence. Topics that you might address can include:
Your family. Who you grew up with and what messages they conveyed regarding emotional and physical expression.
Religion. How involvement in religious practices affected your sexual beliefs and choices.
Early messages about sex, reproduction, nudity, masturbation and pleasure. Consider the “message” in things that were not openly discussed.
Early memories of sexual feelings and experimentation with self and same/opposite sex peers.
Expectations based upon your gender—how did it feel to be expected to act a certain way because you were male/female?
Sexual feelings toward and/or experiences with adults before you became one.
Your experience of puberty (menstruation, wet dreams, body changes, sexual feelings).
First sexual experiences with another person and how you felt.
Your sexual lifestyle and behavior from then until now including your current sexual activities (with self and with partners), practices and preferences. If appropriate discuss your experience (or lack thereof) of orgasm.
The most positive and negative sexual experiences of your life (and why).
Your favorite sexual fantasies.
Birth control/risk reduction methods used by you or your partner(s).
What you like and don’t like about your body.
Medical problems that have affected your sexuality and/or sexual concerns that you’ve had now or in the past and what you did about them.
What you’d like your sexuality to be like 10 years from now.
SEX HISTORY INTERVIEW: (alternate to personal sex history)
This assignment requires you conduct an interview with someone whose age, gender, or sexual orientation is different from your own. How to Proceed:
Conduct a brief conversation to get an overview of the areas you most want to focus on relative to the sex history interview questions.
Tape record the interview if possible.
Don’t use leading questions: encourage your subject to describe events in their own words.
Don’t let your subject ramble too much; focus them on the topics you want to follow.
BE REFLECTIVE: This means that you not only describe what the person said and his or her reactions, but also include your own reflection on what you heard, your own feelings, sensations, uncertainties, empathy, etc. You will be graded on how well you include your own reflections -- your reactions, thoughts and feelings at the time of the interview and what you learned from the experience.
For this project you will need to attend an event you have never been to before. Come with the eyes and ears of an anthropologist and make note of everything the "natives" do. You can go alone, be the guest of a "key informant," or go with a co-researcher. Research Methods should include participant observation, casual conversation, and an interview schedule. In writing your report, use terms we've discussed in class. BE REFLECTIVE: Make special note of how this research experience affects you.
Possible Field Observation Topics:
lGay Club lSingles Bar l Tantra Event lRave Party lDungeon Party lSwing Club
lSex/Love Addiction 12-Step Group or Self-Help Group l Adult Toy Store l Bris
lPlanned Parenthood lSTD Clinic lMassage Parlor lBeauty Parlor lStrip Club
lHIV-AIDS Support Group lNudist Facility lNight Club l Adult Movie Arcade
Outline for Field Observation:
Title Page (name of paper [pick something creative!], your name, name of course, instructors name, date of completion)
Introduction (what you studied and what you were able to observe)
Field Research Methods What methods did you use? (participant-observation? interviews? ) Include reflections on how you felt (Did you experience culture shock?)
Description of Cultural Activities (what participants do, language, dress, rituals, physical environment/how space is used, initiations, cultural rules/protocols, sample interactions /behaviors)
Conclusion (What needs does this culture satisfy and how does it satisfy them? In what ways are the cultural practices effective?)
Areas for Further Research (If you were return, what would you focus on?)
Bibliography (include people you interviewed and any outside sources (Internet, books, articles) you may have referred to.
For samples of student field observations click here
SEX & MARRIAGE RESEARCH PROJECT
The Sex and Marriage Project will explore the contemporary culture of dating, sex and marriage amongst people in their teens and twenties. Particular attention will be focussed on the relationship (if any) between hooking up, marriage, and becoming a parent. We’ll examine changing views and practices regarding marriage and sexual expression. Participants will distribute a questionnaire amongst at least 10 subjects, analyze their data and write up a report. You can either focus on singles, young married couples, single parents or a combination of these. You can also team up with up to four researchers and generate a group report. Please submit copies of your respondents’ questionnaires along with your completed report. Class time will be allocated for developing a questionnaire, discussing data collection strategies, assisting students with generating data collection spread sheets as well as data analysis. Once developed, the class website will include a downloadable questionnaire and the data collection spread sheet. Please email your completed spreadsheet (as an attached file) to LAWolfe@aol.com
Sex & Marriage Research Project Outline:
1. Title Page
3. Discussion of Findings
Dating Practices (is hooking up becoming the norm?)
Beliefs About Marriage
Beliefs About Parenting/Family
5. Areas for Further Research
Essays can address any topic related to evolutionary perspectives on sex and gender. You are welcome to submit a brief outline of your proposed topic for feedback and reflections.
1. Title Page (pick something creative!)
2. Introduction/Statement of Problem/Issue
3. Discussion of Findings (the body of your essay--divide into subtopics)
4. Conclusion (include your own analysis)
5. Areas for Further Research (be creative!)
6. Bibliography (use a standard format)
Written assignments need to be typed with standard margins (use a computer), in a standard font (e.g. Times New Roman) in 11 or 12 points, using both upper and lower case script and double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11” white paper. If you choose, you can illustrate your report with photographs, graphs, charts, and/or drawings. Please cite all sources and include a bibliography. Please, no fancy folders (a staple in the upper left corner is fine).