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Human Sexuality

Get help finding reliable information on all aspeccts of human sexuality

Human Sexuality

Human sexuality is an inter-disciplinary topic that applies to many different fields.  It can be studied from differing perspectives and differing academic disciplines, and each will have a different take on the subject:

  • Psychology will normally focus on personal issues such as emotions, attitudes, motivations, and the effects of social conditioning on the individual.
  • Sociology will normally focus on social or group issues, such as expectations, norms, group attitudes, values, and behaviors, and the sexual issues of humans as a society or group.
  • Biology, health, and medical sciences will normally focus on physical or biological factors such as hormones, physical sexual features and characteristics, mechanics of sexual functioning, the role of evolution or genetic selection.
  • Political science and public policy is informed by psychology, sociology, and biology, but the study of human sexuality in each of these three disciplines is also affected by public policies, whether restricted or expanded, or provided with a direction or focus.

This research guide provides recommended resources in these four categories merely for convenience in organizing the vast amount of information available. Most scholars and experts recommend studying human sexuality using an integrated approach, combining or comparing findings from all these perspectives, Other subjects also find sexuality an interesting and worthwhile focus of research, study, or expression, such as anthropology, art, history, literature, music, pop culture, theater, and more. However, this guide will only present recommended resources in the four categories listed above.

Use the tabs on the left to review library resources and materials available in each of these study areas.

Finding Library Materials

Library Materials

Many useful resources are available in the College of the Redwoods Library, including books, reference books, eBooks, and videos. Additional resources may be available at the Del Norte or Humboldt County Libraries and Cal Poly Humboldt Library. Visit those libraries' websites to search their catalogs. Use OneSearch to find books and other resources about your topic in the CR library and selected, college-level resources on the web.

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Searching for Information

When you're working on a research project, you need to use terms that relate to your topic to find information sources - but you also need to be flexible.  Combining multiple terms will help you find sources that are more closely focused on your specific topic.

These are some useful terms to use for a research project in Administration of Justice. Other terms may be useful as well. Use specific words, but only use one or two word phrases - not whole sentences! Try both plural and singular forms, and try varying combinations.

  • “no means no”
  • abortion
  • adolescent sexuality
  • adult sexuality
  • asexuality
  • atypical sexual behavior
  • birth control
  • bisexuality
  • consent
  • dating
  • eroticism
  • feminine, femininity
  • feminism
  • fertility
  • fetishes
  • gender, gender identity, gender roles
  • homophobia
  • homosexuality
  • infertility
  • intersex
  • intimacy
  • jealousy
  • love
  • masculine, masculinity
  • masturbation
  • nonbinary
  • pornography
  • prostitution
  • psychosexual development
  • rape
  • relationships
  • sex trafficking
  • sex workers
  • sexuality
  • transgender

In addition, you can search for sex or sexual in combination with other terms: "sex workers", "sex anatomy", "sexual attraction", "sexual development", "sex laws", etc.

The search terms listed above can be used in Google, but you'll find more reliable and authoritative sources searching either in the library's OneSearch Catalog or in Credo Reference, an online collection of reference and research sources.  Use the box below to access Credo's resources (you may be asked to login) or you can find OneSearch on the Library Materials tab in this guide.

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Call Numbers for Browsing

College of the Redwoods Library Call Numbers

Books in College of the Redwoods library are filed by the Library of Congress system that uses letter-number combinations assigned by subject, so that most books about the same subject will be filed together on the shelf. HSU Library uses this same system, and so do most colleges and universities in the United States.

Because human sexuality can be studied from many different "angles", the numbers listed below are only examples to get you started - if you find a book that looks interesting, you can browse the shelves nearby to see if there are other books in the same area.

  • BF 511 - BF 593 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
  • BF 692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behavior
  • HQ 19 - HQ 30.7 Sexual behavior and attitudes. Sexuality
  • HQ 75 - HQ 76.8 Homosexuality. Lesbianism
  • HQ 77 - HQ 77.2 Transvestism; Transexualism
  • HQ 1075 - HQ 1075.5 Sex roles
  • QP 1 – QP 981 Human Physiology
  • RC 554 – RC 569.5 Personality disorders. Behavior problems. (Including sexual problems)


Accessing eBooks and Databases

To read an Ebook, click on the link provided in the record. You may be prompted to log in with your student ID number. Some Ebooks can be downloaded, look for the instructions. Other Ebooks can only be read online, and will "time out" after fifteen minutes if nothing is clicked. 

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If you are off campus, or if you are using a wireless device while on campus, you may be prompted to login with your CR email address and password to get into the library's subscription databases or eBooks. Remote login is required to prove that you are a student at College of the Redwoods, because the library pays for student, faculty, and staff access for these resources based on our student enrollment. (Login is not required if you are using a computer connected to the main campus network.)