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PSYC11-116: Love, Sex and Relationships May 2019 [Standard]

General information

This subject explores human love and relationships from a scientific perspective. The subject examines biological and behavioural aspects of sexuality, including sexual anatomy, gender, sexual orientation, erotica and pleasure. Students learn how to build and maintain healthy relationships, improve relationship communication and explore the science of love and attraction.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PSYC11-116
Subject title:Love, Sex and Relationships
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:May 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours


Prescribed resources: No Prescribed resources. After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in love, sex and relationships research.
  2. Respect and use critical and creative thinking, sceptical inquiry and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavioural and mental processes.
  3. Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
  4. Understand and apply psychological principles to personal issues.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Presentation Tutorial Presentation 15% In Consultation 1, 2, 3, 4.
Essay Research Participation 5% Final Examination Period 1, 2, 3, 4.
Computer-Aided Examination (Closed) Final Examination 40% Final Examination Period 1, 2, 3, 4.
Computer-Aided Examination (Closed) Mid semester Examination in week 7 lecture time 40% Week 7 (Mid-Semester Examination Period) 1, 2, 4.

Pass requirement

Students will need to complete all four assessment items.

  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Lecture one introduces students to the pioneers of sex research, the attachment researchers who identified the significance of our early learning relationships, and the contemporary researchers who highlight the importance of love and connection to psychological wellbeing.

Lecture two examines the early gender messages that shape our gender expectations, gender identity and comfort with expressions of masculinity and feminity. We explore the prenatal differentiation process, the influence of hormones on the brain and body of the developing fetus, and the role of biology and social learning in shaping our gender identity.

Lecture three reviews female and male sexual anatomy and the influence of hormones on libido, mood and behaviour. We examine the sexual response cycle of Masters and Johnson and consider how expressions of sexuality change over time.

Lecture four examines the role of the brain, our largest and most important sexual organ, in sexual desire, fantasy, arousal and behaviour. We examine the role of the senses in sexual desire and the role of conditioning processes in establishing arousal patterns.

Lecture five examines the significance of our early attachment relationships in providing a foundation for attachment security in our adult romantic relationships. We will examine the importance of emotional regulation and its role in supporting secure, healthy and attuned relationship patterns.

Lecture six explores romantic love and reviews contemporary theories of love, lust and attraction. We will consider the difference between passionate and companionate love, explore the changing relationship between love and sex and the role of technology in meeting our needs for connection and safety. This lecture also examines loneliness, loss and heartbreak and why it's so often said that love is a drug...

The mid semester examination is conducted in the week seven lecture in the computer labs in building 1b. This is a computer aided exam that will assess the subject content covered in week one to six of the semester.

Lecture eight uses the research based predictors of successful and unsuccessful relationships to unlock the mysteries of romantic bliss. We will examine the predictors of relationship distress and consider what makes these relationship behaviours so corrosive to trust, intimacy and connection. We will also examine the principles that characterise the relationships of couples who remain happily connected and satisfied over time.

Lecture nine acknowledges that to be a good communicator we need to develop a good skill set and put these tools into practice - regularly. It is a myth that good communicators are born. Good communicators become so through practice. This class will improve your skill set for listening, building rapport, responding with empathy and managing conflict.

Lecture ten examines the changes observed in patterns of dating, cohabitation, marriage and parenthood in the last 30 years. We discuss the changing expectations of partners and the factors that support and threaten the stability of contemporary relationships. We examine the importance of healthy relationship boundaries, the impact of early trauma and the early warning signs of abuse, relationship and family violence.

Lecture eleven examines the adage, Love is Love. This class examines the biological basis for sexual orientation and dispels many of the myths that support homophobia and heterosexism. We discuss the early work of Alfred Kinsey and the significance of his early spectrum theory of human sexuality. This class recognises the human desire and fundamental need for connection that characterises our most significant relationships.

Lecture twelve examines atypical expressions of sexual behaviour, including paraphliias in the coercive and non-coercive categories. We explore themes of connection and disconnection as we look to understand the how and why that drives participation in these atypical expressions of sexuality. We examine the role of conditioning processes in the development of fetishes and the patterns of numbing that perpetuate addictions to pornography and technology.

The end semester examination is conducted in the final examination period and is centrally scheduled by the Examinations Officer. This is a computer aided exam that will asses the subject content covered in week eight to week twelve of the semester.

Approved on: Nov 14, 2018. Edition: 1.7