Keith Hautala


College: Public Health

Sexual Health Course Now Offered by College of Public Health

Published: Feb 14, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2013) — Undergraduates at the University of Kentucky can sign up for a new course called "Sexual Health."


The three-credit class, the first of its kind at UK, is being offered as an option for the social sciences requirements in the UK Core.


The innovative and exciting course is being taught by Richard Crosby, DDI Endowed Professor in the College of Public Health, who has studied condom usage and the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases since 1995. Crosby says anyone could benefit from taking this course, but it is especially important for people of college age.


"We have robbed our youth of a decent sex education," Crosby said. "This course aims to overcome this problem. It is designed to provide students with the information and skills they need to improve their sexual health throughout their lives."


Crosby stresses that this course is "sex-positive," in that it embraces sexuality as an integral and essential component of human health. Although the curriculum includes instruction on avoiding disease and preventing unwanted pregnancy, Crosby says there's much more to sexual health than avoiding the negatives.


"Health has to do with understanding the body, both your own and other people's," he said. "One of the best aspects of sexual health is that it can lead to improved overall health. Science has discovered there are many  health benefits from sex, especially in the context of a loving and caring relationship."


Crosby assures students that even if they had a good sex ed class in high school, this course is going to provide them with new information, drawing on the latest research. A couple of good examples are the "trust hormone" oxytocin and the "reward chemical" dopamine. Research shows that levels of both are increased after the experience of strong sexual feelings, in women and men. Both chemicals are associated with numerous health benefits, as well as overall feelings of wellbeing, Crosby says.


There is also a lot of new and emerging information about sexually transmitted diseases, which students will not have been aware of before. For example, Crosby cites a spike in head and neck cancers scientifically linked to oral transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV).


"The class will help students learn how to protect themselves by identifying risks and by teaching them how to avoid risks," he said.


Students who sign up for Sexual Health will also gain an understanding of "sexual pluralism." This point of view does not advocate or elevate any particular type of sexual behavior or orientation, but rather acknowledges that healthy sexual expression can encompass a variety of different behaviors. The only two immovable parameters for defining "healthy sexual behavior," according to Crosby, are that it is consensual and that it occurs between adults.


This semester, 40 students are enrolled in the course. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.


"Students love the class," Crosby said. "What we are doing at the university level is what other countries have done with comprehensive sex education, starting around the fourth or fifth grade. We take sex off its pedestal, so students can learn about it in a way that is open and honest. It makes learning easier."


The course, currently offered as UK 131, is part of a comprehensive strategy by the College of Public Health to include more undergraduate course offerings in population health. In the fall, it will be offered under a new course number, CPH 203.


The fall enrollment cap will be set at 200 students, but Crosby says if there are students waiting to get in, he will push to increase that number by 100 each year.


"I'll teach it in Memorial Hall if I need to," he said.



MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396;


Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
PEIK Seminar: Jim Rogers
Oct 30
Career Assessment Workshop 10/30/2014
Reset Page