Feb 162011
 
Authors: Allison Knaus

Sex.

This three-letter word has the power to fill up Clark A-101 in a matter of minutes.

Psychology professor Larry Bloom began teaching Psychology of Human Sexuality at CSU in 1975. Students loved his class then and it continues to be one of the most popular and talked about today, with 343 students currently enrolled.

“People are intrinsically interested in the subject matter,” Bloom said.

A class only offered in spring and summer sessions, Psychology of Human Sexuality fills up on Ramweb before you can even mutter the word “sex.”
“You have an audience who is interested in learning but are also taking the class for fun,” Bloom said.

Diving into subject matter beyond just the obvious topic of sex, Bloom said he teaches biology components and ties in psychology wherever he can.
“I try to involve the whole class, I want to have an interactive learning environment,” Bloom said.

Bloom seems to be doing something right. Despite being held in one of the largest lecture halls on campus, Bloom has had to turn away up to 400 students in past semesters from the 350-seat class.

Traveling from row-to-row, Bloom carries a microphone to get students’ opinions on topics mentioned in class.

Bloom says his teaching style for such a large class consists of a combination of didactic presentation and efforts to have students engage in active learning.

“I try to lighten it up a bit by adding humor,” Bloom said.

Bloom’s efforts don’t go unnoticed by past and present students.

“I dreaded missing class,” said junior business administration major Dominic Bosco, who took Bloom’s class in spring 2010.

Unlike anything he’s ever taken at CSU, Bosco said Bloom was very effective at engaging such a large group.

“The best part was students responding to Dr. Bloom’s questions, we sometimes heard some pretty crazy stuff,” Bosco said.

This semester, Bloom has implemented iclickers to his course material.

“It’s a great course to do this because it shows what other students believe in, and the results are just right there in front of everyone,” Bloom said.

Even with the 36 years of experience teaching the course under his belt, Bloom said a new group of students each year means new challenges faced by the diversity of beliefs students have.

“It’s challenging; people come from all different walks of life and it’s crucial to be prudent in that,” Bloom said.

Bloom’s favorite topic to teach is the science of love, which deals with the psychobiology and definition of love and how it correlates (or doesn’t) with longevity of relationships, Bloom said.

“I heard from friends that I had to take this class,” said junior English education major, Kaelyn Wood, currently taking Bloom’s course.

A change from her English classes, Wood said she has so far been intrigued by the discussions in class.

“It’s interesting to hear what other people think,” Wood said.

Why does CSU continue to turn to this class for elective credit fulfillment? Bloom explained there is a natural aspect of human nature involved with what the class covers.

“People become sexual,” Bloom said.

Staff writer Allison Knaus can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Class topics

  • The double standard of men and women
  • Abortion
  • Cheating
  • The psychobiology of love
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