Second Major

Women’s Studies


Holly M. Dunsworth

Advisor Department

Sociology and Anthropology




sex; feminism; education; illustration; anthropology; human development; sex education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Sex made me and it probably made you too, but for many of us sex remains a mystery for our entire lives. I see sexual images every day, but I rarely hear it discussed openly or factually. This is problematic. If most people are having sex and most people have a lot of misinformation about it, STDs, unwanted pregnancies and even sexual assaults are much more likely. Research suggests that increased (and well developed) sex ed. can reduce all of the possible negative outcomes of sexual misinformation. My observations of everyday life and my research in academia have given me a strong background in sex positivity and have given me the drive to do something about this country’s appalling approach to sex education.

This book is an attempt to synthesize my understanding of sex through an exploration of feminist, anthropological, scientific and artistic material on the vast and complicated subject of human reproduction. I set out with the purpose of creating an illustrated handbook for “having the talk.” Naturally, the artistic and research process drove my project to evolve into an illustrated story that explains the process of sex and some of the implications for poor sex education. By analyzing a variety of books and article on the topics of evolution, sex positivity and health I created a concise compilation of the topics I find to be most important when it comes to understanding sex.

The purpose of this book is to provide education and inspiration for the reader. The goal is to de-stigmatize the topic of sex through access to knowledge as well as inspire the reader to begin to discuss the topic of sex (especially with their partners and/or children). While the project is research based, it also served as a tool for self-evolution and education. Ultimately, this book exists as a personal account of why talking about sex really matters.