Sex Doesn’t Have to be a ‘Taboo Thing’


Photo courtesy of The 77 Human Needs System, Unsplash

Alex McNamee, Contributing Writer

For students, the word “sex” can be a taboo thing. When it comes to sex and our sexuality, many people find it embarrassing to talk about. Dr. Martha Rosenthal is a professor of neuroscience and physiology at FGCU, and she is looking to change the way students view of sex.

Dr. Rosenthal currently teaches a few different courses at FGCU. She teaches neuroscience, human physiology, drugs and society and cannabis and its impact.

“In many ways, human sexuality is the most important. It addresses issues central to our lives and to our identity—relationships, love, parenthood, gender, orientation, sexual communication and so many others,” Dr. Rosenthal said. “There isn’t always an easy way for students to get accurate information about the issues they want to know about in an open and safe environment. I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to have a dialogue with students about the issues that affect their lives.”

BSC 2026, biology of human sexuality, looks for the “examination of the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, sexual response, gender identity, sexual orientation, love and attraction as well as scientific method by which sexuality is studied.”

Dr. Rosenthal has been teaching this course since 2002. The course covers many topics related to human sexuality such as anatomy, gender and orientation, relationships, consensual sexual practices, contraception, STIs and fertility.

“I hope that students not only come away with accurate answers to their questions and an understanding of sexuality, but also with an appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the human body,” she said. “I hope they feel more comfortable speaking about sexuality to their partners, their health care professionals and others in their lives.”

Dr. Rosenthal has been honored to receive the teacher of the year award at both the University of Florida and FGCU and to have presented a TED talk about sex and gender.

Chloe Wilkerson is a senior at FGCU currently taking Dr. Rosenthal’s biology of human sexuality class.

“I saw the human sexuality course and the course description of it seemed very interesting.All of the course content is extremely interesting,” Wilkerson said. “I feel like overall the whole class could agree that talking about sex is a lot less taboo than it was before the class, and I feel like that is something Dr. Rosenthal stresses since it is so taboo in our society, but everyone does it.”

For anyone interested in taking the course Dr. Rosenthal encourages everyone to take the class.

“It’s fun! You’ll learn a lot! I will add a caveat—it’s not easy. Don’t have the attitude of ‘oh, I’ve had sex, I’ll get an A!’ You might not and it would be very embarrassing to have to tell people that you failed sex.”