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Doctoral Programme in Human Sexuality

General information

Official Code: 5936
Acronym: PDSH


  • Doctoral Degree in Human Sexuality (180 ECTS credits)
  • Advanced Studies (3rd cycle) in Human Sexuality (60 ECTS credits)

Courses Units

Development, Conjugalities and Sexual Wellbeing

PDSH06 - ECTS The student is expected to acquire the following knowledges, skills and competences: 1) discuss different questions inherent to the couples' dialectical process as a whole; 2) situate the couple's life cycle transitions (pregnancy, parenthood…) and their relationship with intimacy; 3) understand the dynamics between intimacy and sexuality; 4) frame the biological, social and cultural dimensions of sexuality within the marital life cycle; 5) know intervention techniques and strategies: 6) understand the specifities inherent to research in this domain; 7) execute a research plan taking into consideration the ethical and methodological questions of dyadic research.

Gender and Sexualities


The UC “Gender and Sexualities” main goal is to allow in-depth training in the research domain of Gender, Feminisms and Sexualities, allowing the students to be able to:


  • Situate Gender in an historical analysis of feminisms and plural feminist epistemologies;
  • Understand cultural and ideological dynamics of production of the sexes and sexuallities;
  • Acquire knowledge on the intersection of different social belonging categories, and individual and relational experiences repeatedly associated with sex and sexualities.
  • Understand the relevance of life cycle and, especially, ageing on a (non-)normative sexualities approach;
  • Investigate and work carefully with diverse populations, taking into account social intersections, life trajectories and privilege / oppression dynamics related with such populations.

History, Anthropology and Sociology o Sexuality


The course "History and Anthroposociology of Sexuality" aims to develop knowledge, skills and expertise related to the history of sexuality and sexology as a multidisciplinary science of sexualty, as well as knowledge related to anthropological and sociological aspects of sexuality. Students will be able:

- To know the historical and cultural processes related to sexuality

- To acquire knowledge related to the history of sexology as a multidisciplinary science of sexuality.

- To know the the anthropological perspectives about sexuality

- To acquire knowledge about the sociological aspects of sexuality

Sexual Medicine


This unit intends to increase your knowledge of Sexual Medicine but also to enable you to change your clinical practice with the acquisition of new skills to apply to providing services for patients and to have more confidence in assessing and helping men and women with common sexual concerns. According to the intended learning outcome, the Sexual Physician should be able to manage the patient (male and female) with concerns regarding their sexual development (physical and psychological), diagnose, assess, and manage or refer patients with problems of physical and psychological sexual development, concerns regarding genital morphology, sexual motivation namely low or absent desire, including hypoactive sexual desire disorder, arousal disorders, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory disorders and concerns regarding orgasm.

Research Methods I


The course "Research Methods I" is composed of two components with the following main objectives 1) introduction to research methods and topics in sexuality research, 2) Seminars in the main topics of research in the different areas of the Doctoral Program in Human Sexuality.

Psychological Models of Sexual Response


The course “Psychological Models of sexual response” aims to develop knowledge, skills and expertise related to neuro-psychophysiological processes of sexual response, as well as the main theoretical models of psychological nature of the sexual response and functioning in men and women. 

  • Neuro-psychophysiological processes of sexual response
  • Classical models of sexual response and functioning (e.g. Masters & Johnson’s and Helen Kaplan’s models)
  • Critical perspectives about the classical models of sexual response (e.g. Leonore Tiefer’s critical perspective)
  • New models of sexual response (e.g. Basson’s Circular Model, Bancroft & Janssen’s Dual Control Model)
  • Psychological models of sexual functioning and dysfunction (e.g. Barlow’s Cognitive-Affective Model, Nobre’s Cognitive-Emotional Model)

Sexual and Reproductive Health


To know the biological and clinical bases as well as the population dynamics of major sexual and reproductive health problems.

Pathophysiological aspects of sexual development reproduction, contraception and major health and sexual and reproductive disorders including sexually transmitted infections and fertility.


Sexual education in School and Community Context


The curricular unit aims to promote knowledge and competences in the field of sex education in school and and community contexts.

Gender Identities and Transsexulities


At the end of this UC “Gender Identities and Transexualities” the students should be able to:

  • Understand, throughout theoretical support, the complexity of the gender identities’ approach, the plurality of such identities, as well as its relationship with other dimensions of sexual identities;
  • Develop a critical consciousness on subjective, relational, familial and sociocultural implications of the traditional biomedical approach to transexualities;
  • Integrate on other UC acquired knowledge (specially on the UC Gender and Sexualities) a critical reflection on the ways, processes and research results related with the Trans(gender/sexuals) live paths;
  • Develop skills towards the implementation of Trans-Affirmative logics of research and/or of professional performance with gender non-conforming people/ Trans(gender/sexuals);
  • Understand the relevance of multiple ways of experiencing and/or expressing gender identities in a broader consideration sexualities framework.

Research Methods II


This course aims to provide a deep training in methodology of research to provide students the ability to plan the methodological components of a research project, using qualitative and quantitative methods.


Sexual Problems: Assessment and Treatment

PDSH09 - ECTS The course “Sexual Problems: Assessment and Treatment” aims at developing knowledge, skills and expertise related to sexual problems, namely male and female sexual dysfunctions, paraphilic disorders and gender dysphoria. Skills in diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment (namely psychological interventions) of different sexual problems will be developed.

Project Seminar


The course “Project Seminars” is aimed at supervising the students in the development of their research project in in a topic within the five main research lines in the field of human sexuality developed by the lecturers/researchers of the doctoral program. The doctoral students should chose a topic as well as a supervisor (taking into consideration the research lines presented within the research methods I course) Hence, students will be able to know the main research problematics in the subject areas presented below as well as to develop a research project to be presented at the end of the semester in front of a jury panel.


  • Clinical Sexology
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Sexual Education
  • Sexual Medicine
Sexual and Reproductive Health

Violence and Sexual Compulsivity


The curricular unit “Sexual violence and compulsivity” is aimed at teaching students about the main conceptualizing and intervention models of sexual offending behavior, including different specific groups (e.g., adult and juvenile sexual offenders). The topic of sexual compulsivity and its etiologic pathways will also be considered, along with the intersection with sexual violence. Students will also learn about the different contexts of sexual victimization and ongoing social and political strategies aimed at preventing sexual violence.

Scientific Writing Seminar


1. To recognize scientific writing as a specific type of writing style.

2. To be familiar with the main characteristics of scientific writing, including peer review.

3. To know the main conventions of scientific writing, particularly those promoted by the American Psychological Association, APA.

4. To be able to use the main conventions of scientific writing in Psychology, with a special emphasis on APA style empirical articles and posters.

5. To be familiar with the steps involved in submitting an article to publication in peer reviewed journals, and to be able to conduct them (namely preparing letters to the Editor and response to Reviewers).

Dissemination of Research Work I


The course Presentation of Research Papers at conferences and scientific meetings and the publication in scientific journals aims to encourage doctoral students to share the results of their research, thus contributing to achieving the purpose of the Doctoral Program in Human Sexuality.

This course builds on the Scientific Writing Seminar

Dissemination of Research Work II

PDSH16 - ECTS The course Dissemination of Research Work II  aims to encourage doctoral students to share the results of their research, thus contributing to achieve the purpose of the Doctoral Program in Psychology.
This curricular unit builds on the Scientific Writing Seminar.
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