Best Course – Psychosexual Behavior
We whisper and joke about what happens behind closed doors and under the covers, but topics like sexual orientation, sex toys and atypical sex are openly discussed in Psychosexual Behavior.
“It’s the opportunity to learn the science behind something so interesting,” said David Mastin, associate professor of psychology. “We have a reticence to talk about sex in this country that we have inherited from the founders. Even today, folks are hesitant to talk about sex and that makes learning about sex difficult.”
Mastin has been teaching Psychosexual Behavior for about 10 years. He said learning about the scientifically under-appreciated aspects of human behavior is important and worthy of investigation.
“From the title one might mistakenly think the class is only about abnormal or ‘psycho’ sex, but that’s not true,” Mastin said.
The course spends about a third of the semester learning about biology, a third talking about typical sex lives and the final third on abnormal sex, according to Mastin.
“Dr. Mastin is a great mentor and teacher,” junior pre-med biology major Anderson Lafont said. “He succeeds in making the subject matter interesting and focuses on setting false information straight. I would recommend the class to every major because it’s an important part of being human.”
Mastin said the class also talks about the biological, psychological and sociological underpinnings of sexual orientation. He said sexual orientation is usually the most debated topic; however, students coexist in discussions because most are exceptionally open minded.
“[Our class] doesn’t always agree on controversial topics,” said Zack Baker, junior liberal arts major. “But it sparks different ideas and we can then discuss the science of it.”
At least once a semester, Mastin takes breaks from traditional lecture for a “fun party,” or “a Tupperware party for sex toys.”
“Usually the host for the parties is a registered nurse who can share her knowledge and experiences with adult sex toys,” he said. “It’s a great chance to think critically about adult sexual products.”
Mastin said all important human behaviors are complex and worthy of study.
“We spend lots of time thinking about sex,” he said. “We should understand it as well.”