"A Kiss is Never Just a Kiss": Introducing Students to the History of Sexuality in the United States

Gillian Frank

Abstract


This submission contains a lesson plan, a writing assignment and a syllabus. The lesson plan and the writing assignment, which work together, explain how I introduce students to the fundamentals of historical thinking about sexuality. While some students have been exposed to the tenets of social construction, the majority of students habitually view gender and sexuality as something innate, biological and unchanging. Through the enclosed exercises, students learn to challenge the assumption that the past is just like the present and that present day values apply to the past. They wrestle with the idea that sexual acts or behaviors that appear to be similar have varying meanings within a culture, varying meanings in different cultures, and have meanings that change over time.

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ISSN 2163-3177

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