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Introduction to Sexology

Code: LPSI314     Acronym: IS

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Psychology

Instance: 2021/2022 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Psychology
Course/CS Responsible: First degree in Psychology

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PSIC 55 Official Curricular Structure 3 - 3 27 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Pedro Jorge da Silva Coelho Nobre

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 2 4,00
Pedro Jorge da Silva Coelho Nobre 4,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students



                The course of introduction to Sexology aims to promote knowledge in the field of Sexology as the multidisciplinary science of sexuality. We will address some of the most prominent authors in the history of Sexology and their theories, as well as the various scientific paradigms.  We will cover the psychophysiology of sexual response, its principles and main models. We will also review the research on the role of different psychological variables in sexual response and sexual functioning.


Finally, we will discuss some relevant issues in the psychology of sexuality (e.g., sexual dysfunctions, sexuality and disability, sexuality & parenthood, sexuality & ageing, sexual compulsivity and aggression).


Learning outcomes and competences


Students should develop knowledge and skills in the following domains:


knowledge about the history of Sexology


knowledge regarding the psychophysiology and models of sexual response


knowledge about the psychological factors of sexual response and sexual functioning


knowledge and skills to reflect on contemporary themes of psychology of sexuality




Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)





1. Psychophysiology of Sexual response

2. Models of sexual response


1. The role of Psychological factors

2. Psychological models of sexual functioning



Mandatory literature

Bancroft, J.; Bancroft, J. (2008). Human sexuality and its problems (3ª ed.). Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchill Livingstone.
Bullough, V.; Bullough, V. (1994). Science in the Bedroom: A history of sex research. New York: Basic Books
Fonseca, L., Soares, C., & Vaz, M. ; Fonseca, L., Soares, C., & Vaz, M. (2003), A sexologia: Perspectiva multidisciplinar. Coimbra: Quarteto Editora.
Nobre P. J.; Nobre P. J. (2006). Disfunções Sexuais: Teoria, investigação e tratamento. Lisboa: Climepsi

Teaching methods and learning activities


The theoretical component of the syllabus is oriented mostly to the main themes that constitute the program. The practical teaching methods include: 1) text reading and discussion in small groups, 2) discussion and debate of topics in the class, 3) visualization of audiovisual material (e.g., movies: the life of Alfred Kinsey), 4) literature review using scientific databases (b-on, PsychInfo, EBSCO, Google Scholar, etc.), 5) Presentation of group work in the classroom.



Social sciences > Psychological sciences > Psychology

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Teste 65,00
Trabalho escrito 35,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 1,00
Estudo autónomo 23,00
Frequência das aulas 27,00
Trabalho de investigação 0,00
Trabalho escrito 30,00
Total: 81,00

Eligibility for exams


The evaluation will include a practical component (CP) and a theoretical component (CT).  The practical component (CP) is 35% of the final grade in the course and will be evaluated through a group work. The theoretical component (CT) is 65% of the final grade in the course and will be evaluated through a written test.


To obtain approval, students are expected to comply with each of the following criteria:


1. Obtain a final grade equal to or greater than 9.5; 


2. Obtain the following minimum scores in each component:


a. minimum of 8 values in the practical component


b. minimum of 8 values in final written test


3. Perform all proposed evaluation components.

Calculation formula of final grade


FINAL SCORE = (CP * 0.35) + (CT * 0.65)

Examinations or Special Assignments


Internship work/project


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)


Classification improvement


Students can improve the final grade (of the written test) only once until the subsequent year. In this case the exam will count 65% for the final grade and the practical  work will count 35%




Detailed Bibliography




Baker, C. D. (1993). A cognitive-behavioural model for the formulation and treatment of sexual dysfunction. In J. M. Ussher and C. D. Baker (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on sexual problems (pp. 110-128). London: Routledge.


Basson, R. (2000). The female sexual response: A different model. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. 26, 51-65.


Kaplan, H. S. (1979). Disorders of sexual desire. New York: Brunner/Mazel.


Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: Saunders


Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: Saunders


Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown.


Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1970). Human sexual inadequacy. Boston: Little, Brown.


Sbrocco, T., & Barlow, D. H. (1996). Conceptualizing the cognitive component of sexual arousal: Implications for sexuality research and treatment. In P. M. Salkovskis (Ed.), Frontiers of cognitive therapy (pp. 419-449). New York: Guilford Press.


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