LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas has introduced a new major in human sexuality for undergraduate students, the first of its kind in the state.
The Kansas Board of Regents approved the request for an undergraduate program for bachelor's degrees of art or general studies in human sexuality. The new program will be offered through the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies starting this fall.
“We’re excited to offer a new undergraduate degree in human sexuality, which is an area of academic study not available as a major elsewhere in the state or in the immediate region, yet is an important and growing field of study,” said Alesha Doan, chair of women, gender & sexuality studies.
Students in the program will examine how sexual identity and practices contribute to significant contemporary social issues such as human trafficking, family violence and health inequality.
KU is a leader in the state’s efforts to combat slavery and human trafficking. The new program in human sexuality builds upon previous initiatives in this area, such as last year’s Kansas Conference on Slavery and Human Trafficking, hosted by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and KU.
The Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies already offers a minor in human sexuality. Several of the department’s faculty members specialize in research and teaching in human sexuality. Additionally, the department has built a large network of interdisciplinary faculty collaborators in other departments around the university. This network contributes to the women, gender & sexuality studies major and minor and the human sexuality minor. Those faculty members will continue to work with the department to deliver the new major.
KU joins the few other U.S. universities offering degrees in human sexuality and is the only school in Kansas to offer a degree in human sexuality.
“The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is committed to offering education in significant emerging fields,” said Danny Anderson, dean of the College. “The new program in human sexuality demonstrates our dedication to providing diverse and relevant education in such areas.”
The Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies is part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.