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Unit of study_

SEXH5404: Variations in Sexual Function

Semester 1, 2024 [Block mode] - Westmead, Sydney

This unit will provide students an evidence-based approach to understand human sexual response, appreciate sexual functioning of differently abled people across the lifespan; and equip students with adequate knowledge and skills to identify and manage a number of sexual concerns, problems and/or dysfunctions in men and women. On completion of this unit, students will be able to: (i) Evaluate sexual function across the lifespan; (ii) Appraise the role of sexual (health) literacy in optimum sexual health; (iii) Critique human sexual response models; (iv) Identify common male and female sexual dysfunctions; (v) Appraise the psychosexual and other management options for common sexual dysfunctions; and (vi) Critique the biopsychosocial determinants of sexual functioning.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SEXH5404
Academic unit Sexual Health
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Vijayasarathi Ramanathan,
Lecturer(s) Candice Care-Unger,
Kate Dempsey,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small test Multiple Choice Quiz (MCQ)
Online quiz
30% Formal exam period
Due date: 06 Jun 2024 at 12:00
40 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Report
20% Formal exam period
Due date: 03 Jun 2024 at 23:59
1,500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
Online task Online Discussion 1
Online discussion
5% Week 05
Due date: 18 Mar 2024 at 23:59
150 - 250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO2
Assignment Essay
20% Week 08
Due date: 15 Apr 2024 at 23:59
1,500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
Online task Online Discussion 2
Online Discussion
5% Week 10
Due date: 29 Apr 2024 at 23:59
150 - 250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO2
Assignment Recorded video presentation
Recorded oral presentation
20% Week 12
Due date: 13 May 2024 at 23:59
6-8 minute pre-recorded video
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late assignments that have not been granted extensions and are of a standard to receive a pass or higher mark will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark per day late including weekend days. Assignments submitted more than 10 days late without prior approval from the unit of study coordinator will not be accepted and will be given a zero (0) mark.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Module 1: Introduction to human sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 02 Module 2: Principles in the management of sexual dysfunctions Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 03 Module 3: Variations in male sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Online intensive session Online class (1.5 hr)  
Week 04 Module 3: Variations in male sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 05 Module 4: Cancer and sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 06 Module 5: Variations in female sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 07 Module 5: Variations in female sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 08 Module 6: Pelvic floor and sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 09 Module 7: Sexual health literacy Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 10 Module 8: Measures of sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 11 Module 9: Co-morbidities and sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 12 Module 10: Sub-fertility and sexual functioning Independent study (10 hr)  
Week 13 Intensive face-to-face teaching block (3 days) Block teaching (32 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Intensive teaching sessions (online and face-to-face) – attendance is compulsory. Failure to attend may result in an absent fail for the unit of study. 

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

This unit of study has the following textbooks:

Prescribed textbook

John P. Wincze and Risa B. Weisberg, Sexual Dysfunction: A Guide for Assessment and Treatment (3rd ed), Guildford Press (2015)

This textbook is available as an Ebook via the library here.

Recommended textbook

Kevin R Wylie, ABC of Sexual Health (3rd ed), BMJ Books (2015).

This textbook is available as an eBook via the library here.

All other readings for this unit can be accessed on Canvas

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. evaluate sexual function across the lifespan
  • LO2. appraise the role of sexual (health) literacy in optimum sexual health
  • LO3. critique human sexual response models
  • LO4. identify common male and female sexual dysfunctions
  • LO5. appraise the psychosexual and other management options for common sexual dysfunctions
  • LO6. critique the biopsychosocial determinants of sexual functioning

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

UoS coordinator considered feedback and made appropriate changes/improvements


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.