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History | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This is a class activity on the construction of sex. I ask the class for all the terms and expressions they have for having sex. We collect them and put them on the board in the order they offer them. Throughout this process, students are not allowed to ask clarifying questions, so the items offered tell us what they understand sex to be. After collecting the terms, the class is broken into groups to analyze the data for themes and patterns. When we come back together, I ask the students about how the data would be different if, for example, male bodies are missing. We discuss the specific sex act (or acts) their language refers to. In other words, what constitutes sex. Lastly we compare the terms they offer to scientific terms to assess whether the assumptions they make are also contained within more proper terms.


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