Course: Masculinity, Sexual Behavior and Health

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Course Description

Reading seminar focusing on male adolescent health and sexual issues and explores the meaning of masculinity and the impact of masculine beliefs on men's health and health care use. Students critique the literature and explore methods to design interventions working within a masculinity framework to improve men's health outcomes.

Course Objectives

At the end of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Identify key sexual and reproductive health for males across the lifespan from a domestic as well as an international perspective
  2. Critically describe masculinity theory & how masculinity influences men’s health, healthcare use, & relationships with women in context of other health behavior theories
  3. Discuss male sexuality including sexual identity development including theories on sexual orientation development
  4. Describe community-based intervention studies on male sexual/reproductive health
  5. Describe clinic-based intervention studies on male sexual/reproductive health
  6. Describe emergent sources of data for male reproductive health, including NSAM, NSFG, Add Health, YRBS, NSSHB
  7. Effectively work in teams to critically present data on male sexual/reproductive health
  8. Discuss student-generated topics of interest related to male sexual/reproductive health


The following books are recommended but not required:

  • Featherstone B, Hearn J, Pringle K. Man Made: Men, masculinities and equality in public policy. London, UK: The Coalition on Men and Boys; 2009, .
  • Levant & W. S. Pollack (Eds.) A new psychology of men. New York: Basic Books. 1995.
  • Connell, R. W. Masculinities. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2005.
  • Heidelbaugh J, Ed. Clinical Men's Health: Evidence in Practice. First Edition. 2007.

Course Requirements


One excused absence is allowable. Any additional absences can impact overall grade (see grading scale below) or can be made up (contact course instructor regarding assignment)

Definition of Participation

Students will demonstrate that they have read all required assigned materials & performed relevant assigned tasks by actively engaging in each class discussion

Late submissions/ make-ups

Class assignments include presentations (all students - see below) and paper (if taking class for 3 Units). Presentations and papers must be delivered on the day assigned (no exceptions). Medical exceptions will be granted with a healthcare provider’s note.

Use of cell phones/laptops during class

All cell phones should be turned off before class.
Laptops should not be used in class unless use is directly related to the course.

Course reading information

This is an intensive reading course. Students are required to complete all required readings prior to class, be prepared to generate and participate in class discussion, demonstrate knowledge learned from all assigned readings and support discussions with knowledge gained from course readings and other evidence-based literature rather than personal experiences. Students should be prepared to be efficient and effective in their reading and discussion of assigned materials. For example, for lengthy readings students may want to utilize effective reading strategies such as focusing on article’s methods, results and limitation sections.

Group work guidelines

Students will work in groups of two for final class presentations. Students will be asked to provide feedback on their experience working with their partner on team presentations.

Grades will be determined as follows

  • Attendance, class preparation and discussion, 1 presentation.
  • For the majority of class session, standard lecture format will not be used. Instead class time will be used to discuss readings on male reproductive health and two-person team presentations on related topics beginning near the end of the quarter. 
  • Attendance/Class preparation and discussion (70%)
    • 7+  prepared sessions = A
    • 5-6 =  B
    • 3-4 =  C
    • 2 or fewer =  D
    • Students will be required to complete all required readings prior to class, be prepared to participate in class and discuss relevant readings.
  • Presentations (30%)
    • Two students will pair up and make 1 class presentation.
    • Students have access to a wiki page to use as a white board for project activities and to allow other student teams to view access.
    • Session 6 and 7: 2-person teams will present on topics chosen by the team. Topics should be submitted to the instructor no later than Class Session 4. Refer to class session for instructions and suggested presentation options.
    • Students will be asked to provide feedback on their experience working with their partner on team presentations. This feedback will be taken into account in final presentation grade.
  • For students enrolled for 3 Units, a final paper is required and due at the Class Session 7.
    • The paper can be formatted as a
      • Literature review
      • Policy brief
      • Proposal for a study
    • The paper topic can be based on earlier team presentations & should incorporate key concepts learned throughout the course.
    • Paper length: no more than 10-15 pages double spaced, 12 font.
    • By Week 3: Share paper topic & approach with the instructor.
    • By Week 5: Share basic outline (if requested).