PSY145 Syllabus

Human Sexuality

Fall, 2023

About the Course (click to expand)

Course: PSY145-01 (CRN: 30548)

Lecture: MWF 3:30 - 4:20pm @ Library (KL) Rm. 209

Instructor: Dr. Ross Avilla


Office Hours: Fridays @  1 - 3pm - Schedule Meeting (click here)

WARNING: This class contains explicit sexual material, including, but not limited to, images and video showing full-frontal nudity, sexual intercourse and childbirth.  If these topics make you uncomfortable, you may not want to take this class.

Course Goals:

By the end of the semester, students should be able to

PSY145 Schedule (2023 Fall)


Textbook: Human Sexuality in a Diverse Society by McNichols & Numer

 At your instructor's request this course is part of the UC Merced Inclusive Access program. You will have immediate access to your digital course materials on the first day of class through CatCourses. The materials that we have provided are at a discounted fee, you will see the material charge on your student account in the Mybill section.   

Title: human sexuality   

Reduced Course Charge:  $85.32

Alternate (possible) retail Pricing: $90.77 


Student Access Instructions:    

Please do not PRE-Pay for any content or access. If you are prompted to pay for access, try using another web browser such as Chrome or Firefox. Safari can cause errors.  If you have trouble, contact for help. 



You will now be rerouted to your eBook or your publisher courseware. Please contact Willo Support if you should have any further questions at Submit a Request. 


University Store Note about opting out and billing:  

We recommend you attend class before choosing to Opt Out.   

Your UC Merced Student Account will be charged the Reduced Course Charge (IA charge) unless you opt-out of this program. If you do opt out you will be responsible for purchasing your course materials for this section.  

Using AI Tools

Chat GPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard are just a few of the AI (artificial intelligence) tools you have free access to as a student.  I would encourage you to use these tools responsibly to help you study and complete assignments.  I have a guide (listed below) on how you can use AI in this class.  In this document, I give tips and example prompts you can use in AI tools to help you better study and prepare for the course.

LockDown Browser

This course requires the use of LockDown Browser for online exams. 

Watch this brief video to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser.

Download Instructions

Download and install LockDown Browser from this link:

Once Installed


When taking an online quiz, follow these guidelines:

Getting Help

Several resources are available if you encounter problems with LockDown Browser:

Grading & Attendance

Your grade will be based on…

Exams (worth 65% of your grade)

Class Activities (worth 20% of your grade)

Textbook Quiz Questions (worth 15% of your grade)

Extra Credit

Grading Scale *

93 - 100% A

90 - 92% A-

87 - 89% B+

83 - 86% B

80 - 82% B-

77 - 79% C+

73 - 76% C

70 - 72% C-

60 - 69% D

Below 60% F

*Final grades will be rounded up from .5 or above, so any percent that ends in .5 or higher will automatically be rounded up.  In other words, if a student has 89.5% in the class, it would be rounded up to 90%.

Contesting Grades: To contest a grade on an assignment or exam, you must meet with the professor during office hours or a scheduled appointment within 2 weeks after the assignment/exam is due.  After that time has passed, the grade cannot be contested.  The professor will not answer emails asking for personal extra credit (extra credit that is not available to the class as a whole).

Academic Integrity: All instances of cheating (including suspicion of cheating) may result in a grade deduction and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.  This includes obtaining participation points or points from in-class activities when not in class.  During exams, if you are caught looking at other students’ exams, looking at course notes or materials, using your phone or other electronic devices, using wearable technology (e.g., smart watch/glasses), or leaving before turning in your exam, your exam can be taken from you and you may receive a zero on that exam. 

SONA Extra Credit

You may earn up to 3 SONA credits for up to 3% of extra credit added onto your final score.  For example, participating in 3 hours of SONA experiments would cause a student’s final grade to go from 90% to 93%.  Each SONA credit requires participating in about one hour of psychological experiments through the SONA system.  SONA is a web-based scheduling program that allows students to view, sign-up for, and participate in research experiments conducted by UC Merced faculty and graduate students.  

The UC Merced SONA website can be found at:  Here is an FAQ for the Sona Systems website.  Make sure to sign up for the correct class (using the correct course number and/or section number) on the SONA website or you will not be awarded SONA credit in this class.  However, you cannot participate in experiments if you are younger than 18 years old.  

If you are under age 18 or you do not wish to participate in experiments, you may receive extra credit by completing up to 3 research papers (each worth 1 experimental hours).  For more information about this option, click here.

SONA Instructions

For new participants that have never signed up for a SONA account in a previous semester: 

1) Go to 

2) Click on “New Participant? Request an account here” on the left side of the page 3) Enter account information. When entering in your user ID, it is very important to use  your UC Merced email address; do not use Gmail, Hotmail, etc., in this section. On this  page you will also be able to specify what classes you wish to gain credit for via SONA. 4) Read through “Human subjects and privacy policy notice”. This is a list of your rights as  a participant. You must click to agree to these terms at the bottom of the page in order to  participate in SONA. 

5) Read instructions and complete the pre-screening process. This is a brief questionnaire  that asks you some basic questions about yourself. Your responses here are completely  anonymous. 

6) Once you have completed the pre-screening you will have access to your account. Once  you have access to your account you can: 

a. Edit your personal information, password, etc., from the “My profile” section. b. Sign up for studies “Study sign-up” section 

c. Manage credits that you have already earned or check on upcoming appointments  from the “My schedule & credits” section. 

For participants who have a preexisting account from a previous semester: 

1) All preexisting accounts will be automatically unlocked. 

2) Go to 

3) Enter your login info at the SONA homepage ( Click  the “Forgot Password” link if you can’t remember your password. 

4) Confirm the “Human subjects and privacy policy notice” and take the brief questionnaire  again. 

All students 

If at any time there are any questions concerning this process, please email the SONA administrator, Cerena, at You should receive a response within two (2)  business days. 

Researchers will grant all participation credits within 24 hours after the last day of classes.  All students should check their SONA credits as soon as possible after that and should  contact the SONA administrator about any questions or problems within 48 hours in order  to guarantee that these issues can be resolved.

Student Support

Attending college is both exciting and challenging. UC Merced has an array of services to help you inside and outside the classroom.

Here are other student services you may be interested in...

Basic Needs - Food Security

Financial Aid


Office of the Ombuds

Study Abroad

Student Accessibility Services

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC)

UC Merced Principles & Policies

Course Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Psychology major will:

UC Merced Guiding Principles

UC Merced Academic Integrity Policies


If there are assignments in this course, they must be turned in or e-mailed to me (depending on the requirements of the assignment) no later than the due date posted for each assignment.  No late-work will be accepted, unless extenuating circumstances or hardships are deemed warranted by the professor.


The University of California has outlined a general code of student conduct that can be accessed at Go to for the UC Merced code of academic conduct. 

All academic work is expected to be in compliance with this code. In the present class, any form of cheating or plagiarism is a serious offense. Cheating includes any attempt to defraud, deceive, or mislead the instructor in arriving at an honest grade assessment. Plagiarism is a form of cheating that involves presenting, as one’s own the ideas or work of another. All work that is directly copied from other sources (e.g., a book, the internet) must be in quotation marks with full reference to the original source. Words that are paraphrased from the original into your own words do not have to be in quotation marks, but must include a reference to the original source. Violation of these policies may result in a grade of “F” in the assignment, and for repeated violations, a grade of “F” in the course.


UCM provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programs, activities, and services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in class activities or meet course requirements should contact the professor as early as possible, and also contact the UCM Student Accessibility Services office at



Each UCM student is encouraged to help create an environment during class that promotes learning, dignity, and mutual respect for everyone. Students who speak at inappropriate times, sleep in class, display inattention, take frequent breaks, interrupt the class by coming to class late, engage in loud or distracting behaviors, use cell phones or pagers in class, use inappropriate language, are verbally abusive, display defiance or disrespect to others, or behave aggressively toward others could be asked to leave the class and be subjected to disciplinary action. 

Students with Disabilities

University of California, Merced is committed to creating learning environments that are accessible to all. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on a disability, please feel welcome to contact me privately so we can discuss options. In addition, please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at (209) 228-6996 or as soon as possible to explore reasonable accommodations. All accommodations must have prior approval from Student Accessibility Services on the basis of appropriate documentation.

If you anticipate or experience barriers due to pregnancy, temporary medical condition, or injury, please feel welcome to contact me so we can discuss options. You are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students for support and resources at (209) 228-3633 or