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Human Sexuality Class Projects You are to complete four of the assignments below. Note that additional options may be added during the semester, so you may want to check this page again. These projects will involve additional research and reading, small group discussions, interviews, conversational reports, and prosocial involvement. Most can be done in groups. The goal of each project should include one of the following: Investigate, Inform, Inspire, and Improve. Investigate: Discover additional information, and form a deeper understanding of an issue related to human sexuality. Inform: Use the knowledge you have acquired to teach others about an important topic in the course. Inspire: Employ your knowledge and skills to motivate others to engage in further discussion, adopt a position, or act to improve our world. Improve: Combine knowledge and understanding with decision and action to develop, expand, enhance or enrich our world, by strengthening relationships, upgrading aesthetics, or alleviating suffering. Currently there are 10 assignments available from the Project assignments link. More may be added as the semester proceeds. You are required to do any 4 of the assignments, by the assigned due dates, and the last one is due Dec. 5. Your participation and reports on these projects will be worth 20% of your course grade. You may do the assignments you choose in any order you wish. However, you must submit an assignment by each of the following due dates: First assignment report due September 26 Second assignment report due October 20 Third assignment report due November 12 Fourth assignment report due December 5 Project Topics 1. Find out the position or teaching held by your home church on the following issues: premarital sexual activity masturbation homosexual orientation homosexual behavior Submit a one-page report explaining what you learned. Include the denomination of your church and an explanation of how you found the information. 2. Visit an art exhibit in the Ortlip gallery. Look for art works that explicitly or implicitly address sexual themes. Choose one, and interview the artist (if available) or an art major or faculty member about how she or he handles questions about appropriateness of sexual imagery in art produced by Christians. Ask about the artist's intention, and what message she wants the viewer to receive or what reactions she anticipates from viewers. Write a one-page report on the interview. 3. Survey 20 Houghton students who have not taken this class, and who have not been surveyed by others in the class. Do not ask about behaviors, but rather attitudes toward premarital sexual activity extramarital sexual activity homosexual orientation homosexual behavior married sexual activity Use a response scale of Always right...Usually right...Neither right nor wrong...Usually wrong...Always wrong. Collaborate with at least one other class member. Combine and tabulate your results (on at least 40 surveys, combined), and submit your tabulation and your written interpretation of their meaning. 4. Investigate trafficking in persons or slave prostitution in at least three different sources. Then, explore what World Hope is doing to combat slave prostitution. Get together with at least one other class member, and discuss what you have read. Propose three concrete actions that could be taken to curb slave prostitution, including at least two that could be put into effect in the United States. Summarize your readings and discussion and pose your recommendations in a one-page report. Develop a fund-raising project to support World Hope or another organization that is working to combat trafficking in persons. 5. Chose a topic in the course, and develop and present a program to inform at least a part of the Houghton community. You may use a public forum, print materials, video, websites—any appropriate medium. Assess the outcome of the program, and write a report for the class. 6. The national research on the correlation between a Christian liberal arts education and the self-concepts of women was represented as a point in the integrative studies lecture response in 2001 by Dr. Linda Mills Woolsey. Read her response, and then form a focus group of at least five Houghton women in their senior year. In an hour's discussion with them, find out whether they perceive any change in their self-confidence, self-esteem, or other forms of self-perception over their four years at Houghton. Identify the evidence they use to come to their conclusions. Explore what they think are possible causes of any perceived changes, and evaluate any evidence offered in this context. Find out if they perceive any effects of their spiritual development on their self-perceptions. 7. Initiate a conversation with your parents (or one parent, if circumstances dictate) about a topic from this course. Find out what your parents think about the topic, whether they agree with each other, and how they came to believe as they do about the topic. With your parents' permission, report what you learned in the conversation. Report as well how you and they felt emotionally about discussing the matter with each other. Was there anything surprising about your conversation or the reactions to it? 8. Choose a current news story relating to human sexuality. Read about the story from at least three different news sources, and compare and contrast their presentation, considering especially the fairness with which the story is presented and the assumptions and world views underlying the reporting of the story. Then, evaluate the reporting by considering controlled research on the topic and/or primary source documents. 9. The library has a copy of Jean Kilbourne's documentary film, Killing us softly. This examination of the portrayal of women in the media has become a standard on college campuses. Watch the film with at least three friends, and discuss. Then, after you have thought about it for awhile, write a report in which you summarize Kilbourne's argument with three examples from her film. Assess the extent to which her examples support her argument. Then, discuss whether you believe that her conclusions are merited based on the evidence she has provided. Think critically. Consider, in particular, whether she has carefully selected examples to support her argument, and whether counter-examples exist. Finally, to what extent do you think media portrayals of women have influenced your personal view of women? Use your own examples. 10. The library also has a copy of Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity. Produced by Media Education Foundation, directed by Sut Jhally, and featuring Jackson Katz,“Tough Guise” is the first educational video geared toward college students to examine the relationship between images of popular culture and the social construction of masculine identities in the 21st century. The film raises provocative questions about possible connections between widespread violence and popular culture’s portrayal of what it means to be male in our culture. Watch the video with at least three friends, and discuss. Think about it for awhile--at least a day--and then write a critical analysis of the piece. What points most impressed you, and why? With what points did you disagree? Why? Is the argument rational? To what extent does it appeal to emotion to make the case? Are men really that mindless? 11. Along with three friends of the same gender as you are, take or read over this modesty test. Then, discuss the meaning of the test items. Discuss whether the level of modesty recommended by the test is reasonable and prudent. Then discuss whether the test is drawing attention to important points of modesty. Finally, compare the attitude toward modesty in the test to the arguments offered by Wendy Shalit in her book. That will require you to explain Shalit's argument to your friends. Write a three-page report on your discussion and conclusions. 12. International Women's Day is March 8. All around the world, a wide range of special events are being organized to mark the occasion--some celebratory, some fund-raising, some educational. Find out what is planned in Houghton and Allegany County to mark the day. Check out the range of events at www.internationalwomensday.com, and working in a group, propose and prepare an event to mark International Women's Day at Houghton. Analyze the event, and make recommendations for future events. 13. Propose another class project that could reasonably be assigned. Write a description of the project methodology, and explain how it would connect with a particular topic in the course. Run a pilot study on the proposed project, and use the pilot results to refine the proposal.
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