Human sexuality assignment


Assignment Instructions


Writing Assignment: Issues in Sexuality: Scholarly vs. Popular Media  


Sunday midnight, at the end of the 4th week of class

Late papers will be penalized 10%

Course Objectives Addressed

LO 9: The student will be able to demonstrate awareness of the roles of multiple media formats in shaping cultural norms on sexuality.

Description of assignment

Issues in Sexuality: Scholarly vs. Popular Media  

This assignment will help you explore the way a topic in human sexuality is covered in two very different sources: 1) a scholarly journal; and 2) a popular media source.


  1. Choose a topic on sexuality that interests you. Use the textbook as a guide in selecting your topic.
  2. Find a scholarly article
    1. Select an appropriate topic, and search the APUS online library databases to find an article from a “peer-reviewed” evidence-based scholarly journal.
      1. If you have questions on appropriate types of articles, you can use the library tutorials or contact a librarian.
  3. Summarize the scholarly article
    1. Write a 300-400 word summary of the scholarly article you selected, including:
      1. The hypothesis of the study (what was he author trying to prove or disprove?)
      2. How the study was conducted, including:
        1. The group of people researched and written about (colleges students? adolescents? the elderly? military members? sexual minorities? etc.)
      3. The research method used (i.e. naturalistic observation, lab experiment, survey, etc.)
      4. The results of the study, the interpretation of the data by the authors and any conclusions they include at the end of the article.
  4. Find and summarize the popular media article
    1. Find and analyze/summarize an article from the popular media that covers the same topic as the scholarly paper. Acceptable popular media sources include sources like:
      1. Traditional newspapers
      2. Magazines
      3. Credible websites
    2. Unacceptable popular media sources include:
      1. Blogs
      2. Wikis
      3. Wikipedia
      4. TV shows
      5. Movies
      6. Tabloids (National Enquirer, etc.)
  5. Write a 300-400 word summary and review of the popular media article.
    1. Summarize the key points and include any information that identifies the group and the methods described.
    2. Describe any conclusions drawn by the authors.
  6. Critique (about 500 words)
    1. Compare the article from Step 3 with the article from Step 4, addressing the following:
      1. What do they have in common?
      2. Other than visually, how are they most different?
      3. What is the value for consumers reading each?
      4. What are the cons associated with the way each presents the information?
      5. Both sources can be important means of communicating information about your topic. Explain what is best about the scholarly approach and why, and what is best about the popular media approach and why.  Consider:
        1. Reasons professors require students to use papers from peer-reviewed and professional organizations.
        2. Reasons for studying sex formally instead of just learning about it from popular media sources.
  7. Conclusion (about 500 words)
    1. Conclude your paper. Include insights you gained from conducting the review, summary, and comparison of the two forms of information. You may comment on their relative interest to you or the average reader.


  1. General Writing Requirements
    1. Total paper length should be 1500-2000 words.
    2. Use appropriate APA formatting, in-text (parenthetical), and Reference citations. APA formatting guides are available in our class Resources link. APA tutorials are also available on the APUS Library page. If you’re not sure how to do this, take the APA tutorial available in the APU library.
    3. APA formatting requires a separate cover page and a separate References page. Neither counts toward the word length.
    4. Sources must be cited in the body of your paper (in-text or parenthetical citations) and on a page titled: References
    5. Paraphrases should be used instead of quotes unless the quote is VERY short and necessary for complete understanding or to make a particular point. Place quotes inside quotation marks and properly cite them. Failure to correctly quote or cite, even if not intended is plagiarism and will result in a zero on the paper for a first instance and course failure for a second occurrence in any other assignment. Rewrites are not permitted for plagiarized work.
    6. Double spacing is required.
    7. Run a spelling and grammar check.


For library assistance with this assignment, please visit the course guide located here:

CHFD220 Human Sexuality | Course Guide


Word document with separate title page and reference list, not included in the word count


1200-1500 words

Grading Rubric


Possible grade

Student grade

Step 1: Summary of scholarly article

Primary characteristics, ideas and facts from the article were presented in a clear and easy to understand manner, summary is written in an objective manner per the assignment instructions.



Step 2: Summary of popular media article

Primary characteristics, ideas and facts from the popular media source were presented in a clear and easy to understand manner and the summary was written in an objective manner per the assignment instructions.



Step 3: Comparison/Critique of scholarly and popular media resources

A clearly articulated comparison of the scholarly and popular media sources was in evidence in easy to understand terms.



Step 4: Strength of Conclusion

There was a demonstration of a thorough knowledge of the two forms of information related to human sexuality and the pros and potential challenges associated with both.



Paper Format and Mechanics

Paper was well organized and easy to follow. Paper was the required length. Cover page, paper body, citations and Reference list were in the correct APA format.



Spelling and Grammar

Few to no spelling, grammar, punctuation or other writing structure errors











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