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Psychological Thinking in 21st Century Sexuality and Relationships

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Course Description:

Sexuality has been a fundamental core subject in Psychology since the onset of Sigmund Freud's theories of the Instinct and the Oedipus complex, which emphasized the pivotal importance of sexuality in the understanding of human development and behavior. The few last decades have generated dramatic changes in sexual behavior, sexual conceptualizations and social acceptance of sexual differences. These major changes include phenomena such as LGBT rights, new definitions of gender identity, artificial reproduction techniques, new family structures, virtual romantic relationships, and online dating. All these developments require an updated and refined rephrasing of past concepts and historical psychological theories.Sexuality has been a fundamental core subject in Psychology since the onset of Sigmund Freud's theories of the Instinct and the Oedipus complex, which emphasized the pivotal importance of sexuality in the understanding of human development and behavior. The few last decades have generated dramatic changes in sexual behavior, sexual conceptualizations and social acceptance of sexual differences. These major changes include phenomena such as LGBT rights, new definitions of gender identity, artificial reproduction techniques, new family structures, virtual romantic relationships, and online dating. All these developments require an updated and refined rephrasing of past concepts and historical psychological theories.

Throughout the semester we will review thoroughly each major development of sexuality in the 21st century, how it evolved and changed both social and intrapsychic dynamics. We will examine the alterations each transition has imposed on psychological theories and therapy and discuss the possible implications of these changes on the field's future. Our observation of the various topics will involve both guided reading of important academic articles, excerpts from popular culture (such as movies and TV shows) and class discussions and presentations.

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