Lifestyle

The anatomy of a sexuality class

For one professor of Human Sexuality, teaching anatomy is highly important.

Mylina Andrew will only teach Human Sexuality in a spacious classroom. 

“Students come into this course with many different sexual experiences or levels of experience,” Andrew said. “I always insist on being in a large room, because having personal space when you are learning about sexuality is a very important component.”

Andrew has been teaching Human Sexuality, a historically popular class at the university, for the past five years. The course fulfills the human behavior general education requirement and draws the interest of a broad group of students, Andrew said.

“I just have that comfortable attitude about [sex],” Andrew said. “I put great emphasis on what I think students – what everybody – will have to know in their lifetime.”

Kendall Raines, a freshman international business major, said she took the class because she wanted a change of pace.

“I’m learning things about myself that are extremely helpful to know, especially when it comes to my health,” Raines said. “I’m hearing so many stories from people with different experiences than me.”

“I thought it would be a good idea to take the class because of my major, in order to further understand how people think as sexual beings,” Maya Crockem, a freshman psychology student, said. “Now that I’m almost done the course, I can see that the class is important and beneficial from a personal standpoint as well.”

Andrew said her background in nursing has helped her become comfortable with human anatomy and sexuality. She pursued nursing school before attending Temple to earn an undergraduate degree in psychology.

Andrew was a nursing assistant at Hall-Mercer Community Behavioral Health Center to financially support herself as a student, where she said she discovered her love of counseling, especially in groups. Andrew received her graduate degree at Villanova, where she created a workshop to counsel survivors of sexual assault and rape.

In 2000, she returned to Temple to teach. She said she got involved with many clubs and support groups on Main Campus, like the Clothesline Project. The group aims to prevent violence against women and promote awareness for eating disorders, which can result from being sexually assaulted.

In her Human Sexuality class, Andrew said she puts emphasis on students knowing human anatomy and keeping an open mind.

“How will you know how to properly use birth control?” Andrew said. “How will you know how to check yourself for disease, if you don’t learn the anatomy of yourself?”

Andrew said she introduces the class by giving students a survey that was created in 1989 about their sexual behaviors. The survey gives the students a broad overview of the class material, as well as introducing the most common form of research and data collection in the field.

During the course, Andrew talks about the emotions attached to being sexually assaulted, along with discussing the confidence necessary for masturbation and positive sexual interaction with a partner.

Andrew emphasizes the importance of being sexually safe on a college campus. She said she stresses that one in every two women will be sexually assaulted, coerced or harassed by the time they graduate from college. Since alcohol and drug use are the most common way that sexual assaults happen on college campuses, Andrew said she encourages students to learn how to say “no.”

“Partying on campus is just going to happen,” Andrew said. “If students are using alcohol or any other substance, however, they can’t make good judgments. They are completely vulnerable.”

Andrew said during her 14 years of teaching, every semester a student has self-disclosed that they have previously been assaulted or coerced. While Andrew said these moments are valuable and important, she also strives for some more lighthearted moments.

“It’s fine to have fun,” Andrew said. “This is a period of your life where you are experiencing who you are and it’s fine, but you have to be responsible about it.”

Paige Gross can be reached at paige.gross1@temple.edu. 

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