Sexual Behaviour in Canada: Patterns and Problems

By Benjamin Schlesinger | Go to book overview

A course on human sexuality for Canadian graduate social work students

MARION G. POWELL AND BENJAMIN SCHLESINGER


INTRODUCTION

A few years ago, the first paper appeared in a social work journal which mentioned the necessity of introducing human sexuality content in the social work curriculum. Harvey Gochros 1 stated:

Explicit references to human sexual problems are rare in social work literature. When these references do appear, they are generally presented as one aspect of a client's behaviour which is incorporated into an overall psycho-social diagnosis, or they are regarded as 'symptoms' of a more general disease process which can not be treated as a specific entity. Sexual dysfunctioning is rarely portrayed as a discrete entity in itself, amenable to and requiring social work intervention. Social Workers have made little visible effort to undertake the epidemiological or practice research necessary to more effectively understand the nature of sexual problems and how to deal with them. (p. 47)

In 1972, Gochros and Schultz2 published the first book of readings on human sexuality and social work. Further support in relation to this area came in a paper by Abramovitz3 in which she reports a small study of the level of sex knowledge of a group of social work students. The findings seemed to indicate that no significant learning in the area of sexual knowledge had been acquired in the school of social work. She compared these results to studies with other professional students in medicine, law, and graduate studies. Social work students came out quite poorly in the sex knowledge area. She concluded her paper by stating: 'Basic understanding of human sexuality with a diminution of student

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