Effects of a college course in human sexuality on changing sex-role stereotypes

This study investigated the effects of a multi-disciplinary college course in human sexuality upon the students’ stereotyped sex-role attitudes. The format of the class was lecture with didactic discussion combined with experientially oriented discussion groups. A sex role stereotype questionnaire consisting of 55 bipolar items was administered to 17 females and 9 males in the experimental human sexuality group and 18 females and 8 males in the control group. The questionnaire asked the students to rate males, females, and themselves with respect to stereotyped masculine and feminine traits. The test of the first hypothesis- that there would be an overall experience was only partially supported. That is, of the two scales measured (masculine and feminine), only the attitudes concerning the male sex role had changed in the experimental group. The second hypothesis – that mean and women in the experimental group would change their attitudes concerning the feminine role more than attitudes concerning the masculine role was not supported by the data. In fact, the reverse was true in that attitudes towards the male role changed.