Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sex Talk Redux

Sometimes people surprise me. As the grand finale to two days of lecture about sex and sexuality, I had prepared a mashup of slides from the Centers for Disease Control that showed various and sundry body parts (mostly oozing and/or crusty) afflicted with an assortment of sexually transmitted diseases. Seriously, these were pictures that made one ask, "Why the hell did they wait so damn long to go to the doctor!?" while cringing and grasping at one's own genitalia.

Mind you, these were nasssssty stuff, my preciousss. So I forewarned them at the end of Thursday's lecture that we'd be looking at STD pictures Tuesday and that when the time came, anyone who was squeamish or didn't think they could handle it for whatever reason could leave. No question asked. Granted, I encouraged them to stay, particularly if they had little or no experience with sex so they'd know what to be on the lookout for, just in case. Still, it was their call.

To my astonishment, when the time came though, nobody chickened out and left. Not even the ones I was sure would take me up on my offer for a reprieve because of religious reasons or whatever. Will wonders never cease?

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psychgrad said...

Sounds like an interesting lecture. But, it's not that surprising that people didn't leave. It would be hard to walk out and potentially go against the grain.

I watched a video of people jumping out of a building and what they look like when they fall (and this was shortly after 9/11). I had nightmares.

Not that I'm equating that with a video about STDs. Just to the strength of the visual medium. I'm sure the images from class will have a strong impact.

the domestic minx said...

There is a deep fascination with that level of ugliness, isn't there?
A lot of us want to look, despite the horror; accidents, dismemberments, people jumping out of buildings, repugnant and diseased genitalia (with crusty bits)...
I'm sure no one in your class wanted to appear that they couldn't handle it either...

drsharna said...

Y'all are both right. It's 6am so I can't think of the psychological construct right this minute, but yeah, sometimes people will go along to get along just because they don't want to look like a wuus, but these folks didn't even look around to see if anybody else was leaving. I asked them 3 times and even told them I'd still respect them in the morning but they just sat there, eagerly awaiting the carnage yet to come. They were still wanting to talk about sex at Thursday's lecture so we spent half the class engaged in a lively discussion of BDSM, swinging, masturbation, pornography and the crusty bits slide show. I managed to cram personality theories into the last half of the class but since Freud's psychosexual stages was up first, the discussion still kept going back to sex.

The great part is that it got the entire class, even the Bible-beaters, actively engaged and talking, not just sitting there half asleep at such an uncivilized hour waiting for me to say something profound. Some of their reactions were priceless. This one very naive, big ol' pie-faced man-child who sits on the front row sat there through all of the lectures agape with wide-eyed astonishment the whole time. It was all I could do not to laugh. When the discussion naturally drifted toward homosexuality, I also had the opportunity to ask one student to crack her mind open "just a little bit" - she could slam it back shut when class was over. That was fun, too. The only thing we didn't touch on that I wish we had was bisexuality but we really do have other topics to cover in the next couple of weeks as we blast through the remainder of the text in preparation for exam 3 and their projects.

Next up on the docket is psychological assessment, which is also an area in which I have considerable expertise but sadly, I don't think they'll have near as much fun with it.