SWO-455 Human Sexuality and Social Work Practice

Sexuality is an essential component of the human experience. Exploring our attitudes and belief systems about human sexuality, and how they are informed by our social location, is important so that we can be self-aware and mindful in how we engage in conversations with our clients about their sexuality, gender identity, and social location. This course presents a multifaceted overview of the challenges, concerns, and attitudes about human sexuality — how it evolves over the life span and is directly informed by social, familial, and political contexts. Regardless of client population or method of practice, all social workers will be required to address sex and sexuality with clients, and will need to understand not only best practices, but also when and how to put personal values aside in order to be present for clients from a curious and nonjudgmental stance. The course integrates macro, mezzo, and micro approaches to sex and sexuality; explores the historical, political, and biological aspects of sex and sexuality, sexual health, safe-sex education and prevention, violence, and trauma; and enhances the development of clinical skills for practice with adolescents and adults across the life span. Ethical considerations will also be explored.