The purpose of this writing assignment is to explore both sides of a controversial issue by obtaining facts about both. This assignment is meant to be thought provoking and challenging to your existing beliefs. For some students, learning about “the other side” of an issue will only reinforce what they already believe. Other students will change their opinions after exploring another perspective. Most students come into this class with strong opinions and beliefs about different topics of sexuality that have been formed and influenced by messages from family, friends, religion, school, and the media. There is, of course, nothing wrong with being opinionated about a particular topic or issue. However, in having a strong opinion about something, one ought to be able to back up one’s opinion with FACTS, and you need to be knowledgeable about BOTH SIDES of the issue.
- CHOOSE one of the several topics listed below. It is suggested that you choose a topic about which you already have a strong opinion so that you get maximum benefit from this assignment.
- BEFORE researching your topic, briefly discuss your current opinion about the topic. If you do your research before writing this section, it may be difficult to answer the next section in an unbiased way, and your response may be clouded with your newfound information.
- Your current opinion (complete this section BEFORE you start researching)
- What is your current opinion on this topic?
- What are your reasons for your opinion on the topic?
- Who or what influenced your current opinion and how?
- RESEARCH! Obtain information from journal articles, books, text, and the Internet regarding FACTS that support and challenge the topic. If you choose to use the Internet, make sure that you are using reliable websites that provide facts on the topic, not websites conveying an individual’s or group’s unsubstantiated opinions. Clearly state 3 pros and 3 cons for the topic you chose. Support each pro and each con with FACTUAL information that you found in your research. Remember, you need to use only facts to support your points. Reasons such as “because it’s against my religion,” “because my political party supports this stance,” or “because it was reported on E! True Hollywood Stories” are not factual reasons and they do not provide any justification. If you feel strongly about using religion or a belief system to explain something, you just need to go a few steps further and state the facts regarding why your religion believes something, why your political party supports a certain view, or what credible sources E! reporters cite for their argument.
The facts supporting the topic.
- Pro 1
- Pro 2
- Pro 3
The facts against the topic.
- Con 1
- Con 2
- Con 3
- SUMMARY DISCUSSION
Section 3: Summary Discussion
- Has your opinion of the topic changed or stayed the same? Why?
- What did you learn that supported your existing opinion that you did not know before your research?
- What did you learn that supported the other side that you did not know before your research?
- CITE YOUR REFERENCES (Bibliography)
Make sure at least one of your references is from a scholarly journal. If you are unsure what a scholarly journal is, see explanation below.
Section 4: Cite resources, including at least one scholarly journal article. Your citations must include the following information:
- Author’s last name and first initial
- Year of publication
- Title of publication & volume number if journal
- Page numbers of article or chapter
- If using a website, in addition to the above, also include:
- Full URL address
- Date you retrieved the information from the internet
- Do abstinence-only school sex education programs work?
- Can sex be addictive?
- Are sex offender registries an effective protection for child sex abuse?
- Is abortion moral?
- Has sex become too casual?
- Is sexting a form of safer sex?
- Should equal rights be extended to include marriage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people?
- Is BDSM a healthy form of sexual expression?
- Is “Gender Identity Disorder” an appropriate psychiatric diagnosis?
- Is pornography harmful?
- Should prostitution be legalized?
- Do reality TV shows portray responsible messages about teen pregnancy?
- Should parents be allowed to select the sex of their baby?
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