LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ The University of Kansas is seeking permission to offer a bachelor’s degree program in human sexuality.
The Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of General Studies degrees in human sexuality would promote better understanding of issues including human trafficking, family violence and slavery, said Professor Alesha Doan, chairwoman of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.
“There are very few human sexuality majors in the country, but it is a rapidly growing field, so it is really exciting to be on the front end of that,” Doan said. “It also fits in so well with the other programming.”
The department will ask the Kansas Board of Regents next month to approve an academic unit to lead the human sexuality program, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/1hJmnpR ).
The program would shed light on tragedies such as one last month at the University of California, Santa Barbara, when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and himself apparently because of his rage toward women, she said.
“You have to understand misogyny and how masculinity is constructed that gives rise to these kind of tragic events. It’s not just about women, but it’s about men and how these identities can be limiting,” she said.
A major in human sexuality would also allow students to pursue careers in policy and advocacy, university officials said in a memo to the regents, arguing that “prospective employees that are culturally competent often have a competitive edge over others seeking the same positions.”
The university already offers an undergraduate minor in human sexuality and core faculty members teach courses that would fit into the proposed degree program. The new degree program would not require any increase in funding, university officials said.