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Human Sexuality

Human Sexuality
Personality and Social Psychological Perspectives

  • Craig A. Hill - Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne

August 2007 | 576 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Although intended as a textbook, this accessible book could as well serve in an academic collection as a useful source of background material for a variety of readers." —CHOICE

"Craig Hill's new text is a welcome addition to the textbooks available for undergraduate courses on human sexuality. It goes beyond the standard topics found in many books and seriously integrates social psychological research and theory on human sexuality. This book is just the type of serious treatment of psychological aspects of human sexuality that I have been seeking for some time for my course."
—Irene Hanson Frieze, Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Human Sexuality: Personality and Social Psychological Perspectives presents the topics typically covered in human sexuality courses, rooting the presentation in a strong psychological perspective. Author Craig Hill focuses on personality and social psychological theory to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the psychological factors involved in sexuality, and he encourages students to build upon that foundation by challenging them to think critically about the material in various ways. He also emphasizes the scientific investigation of sexuality, offering a solid review of the research literature.

Key Features

  • Focuses predominantly on the psychological aspects of sexuality: The topics covered and the organization of the book are ideally suited for instructors who wish to emphasize psychological factors involved in sexuality.
  • Stresses the symbiotic relationship between research and theory: The book provides a more accurate and complete understanding of the way in which science generates sound evidence that informs theories pertaining to sexuality and how those theories, in turn, inform further inquiry.
  • Presents real-life examples: Personal anecdotes enable students to relate concepts and information to the lives of real people and to their own lives, making the information clearer and more meaningful to them.
  • Integrates cultural diversity throughout: Race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are considered in the topics covered and the examples employed.
  • Helps develop critical thinking and analytic abilities: Analyze This: Looking at Different Perspectives; An Opportunity for Self-Reflection; and An Eye Toward Research boxes as well as end-of-chapter questions and caption questions allow students to delve further into the material, allowing them to think critically about current topics and their own lives.

Intended Audience

This is an excellent core text for both undergraduate and graduate courses on Human Sexuality particulary those offered in departments of psychology.

Supplementary Material

  • An Instructor's Resource CD provides PowerPoint presentations; chapter study material; classroom handouts; and suggestions for course projects, discussion questions, and internet exercises. Also included is a Computerized Test Bank with multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions that allows for easy test creation
  • A Student Study Web Site provides e-flashcards, Internet exercises and resources, self quizzes, and links to SAGE journal articles and video clips. Also available is a link to the author's blog where students can respond to comments posted by the author and other students using the text. Go to to view the site.

1. The Study of Sexuality
The Need for the Scholarly Study of Sexuality

The Predominant Views Used in This Book

The Nature of Theory and Understanding in Science

Historical Factors in the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality


2. Sexuality in a Historical, Religious, and Philosophical Context
The Historical Analysis of Sexuality

The Centrality of Religion in Attitudes about Sexuality


3. The Historical Course of Sexuality
Western Civilization Prior to the 20th Century

The Great Depression (1930-1939)

World War II and the Atomic Age (1940-1949)

A Return to the Past: The New Traditionalism (1950-1959)

New Frontiers (1960-1969)

The Seventies: The Walls Come Tumbling Down (1970-1979)

The Conservative Counter-Reaction (1980 to Recent Times)

Conclusions About the Historical Course of Sexuality


4. The Scientific Study of Sexuality
Early Scientific Research on Sexuality

Collecting Scientific Information on Sexuality

Evaluating the Quality of Measurement

Methods of Collecting Data

Ethics and Scientific Research with Humans


5. The Person: Individuality and Sexuality
The Personal Meaning of Sexuality

The Personality Psychology of Sexuality


6. Gender and Sexuality
The Concepts of Sex and Gender

Aspects of Gender


7. The Sexual Self and Sexual Identity
The Social Nature of the Self

Sexual Identity


8. Sexual Motivation, Arousal, and Attraction
Sexual Motivation

Factors Affecting Attractiveness of Partners


9. Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality
Romantic Relationships

The Development of Intimate Relationships

Theoretical Views of Love and Sexuality


10. Relationships and Sexuality
The Path That Relationships Usually Follow

Sexuality Within Long-Term Committed Relationships

Sexuality Outside of Traditional Relationships


11. Ethnicity, Race, Culture, and Sexuality
The Concepts of Race and Ethnicity

Sexuality and Ethnicity


12. The Biopsychology of Sexuality
The Nervous System

The Endocrine System

Control of Sex Hormone Production by the Brain

The Role of Sex Hormones in Prenatal Development

Biological Factors Involved in Sexuality


13. Sexuality in the Early Years and Adolescence
Development During Infancy

Development During Childhood



14. Adulthood: Challenges and Decisions
Challenges of Young Adulthood

Establishing Sexual Orientation

Romantic Relationships

Establishing a Family

Midlife and Beyond


Author Biography

A valuable ressource with respect to human sexuality. Similar textbooks in German language concerning sexuality form a social viewpoint are not easy to find. So, this textbook is great for students.

Layout & Design: Could be a bit more lively/modern.

Mr Robert Neuhaus
Psychology , Ruhr University Bochum
October 27, 2010

Very valuable book with detail yet still within grasp for undergraduates. I would have considered this text essential if it weren't for the price tag which is a bit hefty for my students. But I will definitely strongly suggest that they do get the book if they can afford it.

Dr Chris Mamo
Social and General, Cork Institute of Technology
September 21, 2010

An informative text that engages students from the outset. A wide range of topics are covered which demonstrates how multi-disciplinary this textbook is. Highly recommended to those not just studying Psychology but also Youth Studies and Criminology.

Mr Stuart Agnew
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk Ltd
May 27, 2010

I like the emphasis on the broader psychological views of sexuality. This books reads more like a psychology textbook and not a health/biology text and will be much more applicable in my course.

Newell Ryan
Psychology Dept, Oklahoma Christian University
April 23, 2010

This text is takes the most purely academic approach without being offensive. There is a diversity of topics and it has a balanced approach to controversial issues.

Dr Debbi Ware
Wellness Phys Educ Sport Dept, Gardner - Webb University
November 4, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506320120

ISBN: 9781412904834

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