Erwin J. Haeberle
An “Open Access” Curriculum in Sexual Health -
Sexology in a Global Context



An „Open Access“ Curriculum in Sexual Health

This is the home page of our Archive for Sexology. It  shows several lines of text, but today  I would like you to concentrate on only two things:


1.     The red  underlined text offering free courses in sexual health, and

2.     the different flags right above it.


These flags stand for the different languages in which we offer our sexual health information  (The Chinese language is represented by two flags for its two script versions  - simplified and traditional.)


Thus, with their first glance at our home pages, our readers already receive

two important messages:  We offer our information

1.     free of charge, and

2.     on a global scale.




Making scientific information instantly , globally, and freely available has become possible with the rapid growth of the internet.


This development  is creating new opportunities for the acceptance and growth of sexology.


I have discussed these opportunities in several lectures at sexological congresses.  The full texts are available on our Archive web site.




The basic points I made in my lectures are repeated in this and the following panels.






So far, very few academic institutions have taken full advantage of the internet. The outstanding pioneer in this area is the

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) .




The MIT has made study materials of over 1900 of ist courses freely accessible in the internet.


Of course, the MIT, as its name indicates, devotes most of its teaching to the natural sciences and their technological application.


However, as this panel reveals, in addition, it also offers courses in the cultural sciences.




The most far-sighted decision of the MIT leadership was to offer its courses simultaneously several languages.


This not only benefits countless students in many countries around the globe, but also creates and solidifies a dominant global role of the MIT  itself.


So far, no other university has been willing or able to match the MIT offer.




This panel shows the world-wide reach of the free MIT course offer.


At the same time, it puts all its competitors to shame.


These competitors will now have a very hard time trying to catch up. Indeed, it may already be too late for most of them.





Following the example of the MIT, our Archive now also makes a freely accessible course offer.


However, we have taken the logical next step and thus have moved ahead of the MIT:


While the MIT provides only unstructured course materials, we are offering fully structured, complete courses.





Indeed, we are offering a whole curriculum of 6 courses (6 semesters).


This curriculum faithfully follows the repeated recommendations of the WHO.


As the flags indicate, the courses will eventually be available in 10 languages.

(The MIT is offering only  5.)


At the present time, the entire curriculum (all 6 course) is available only in English, Chinese, and Hungarian. The translations into the other languages are still lagging behind to various degrees.


In any event, just as the MIT, we are trying to reach out to a global readership.




Here is a recent definition of globalization taken from a Berlin newspaper.




Having visited China several times since 1989, and having seen its enormous progress within only 15 years , I realized early on that sexology was bound to become increasingly important in that great country.


Of course, at the same time, our Chinese colleagues realized this as well.


When I was granted the extraordinary honor of presenting my views in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, I took this opportunity to give a live demonstration of my online courses on a giant screen.


At that time, they were available only in English. Nevertheless, they attracted a great deal of attention.





As a result of my presentation in Beijing, some Chinese colleagues began a translation of my curriculum. It was completed almost  5 years later  -  in 2009.


The entire curriculum is now available in two bilingual versions:


1.     English -Chinese (simplified script) and

2.     English -Chinese (traditional script)


This way, Chinese students who read my courses in Chinese, can check the English original as well and thus impove their English language skills at the same time.





As our visitors’ statistics show, every month our Archive web site is called up millions of times in over 200 countries.


We have readers not only in Europe and the USA, but also in Asia and Latin America.





This panel shows the top ten of the thousands of cities where we have readers.




The world-wide acceptance of our online offer is mostly due to the fact that it is freely accessible.


Inded, our  strict “open access” policy is the basis of our success.


Therefore,  allow me to summarize here the most important aspects of this policy.




What does “open access” mean for academic teaching?


Among many other things, it can mean distance education for many new students, especially in developing countries.


And this can mean  additional income for the universities.


Actually, right now any university anywhere can use my free online curriculum for such purposes. All it has to do is to add its own interactive component.





The number of potential distance students in sexology is very large.