Welcome to Dr. Janell Carroll’s Website

DSC_0327I am Dr. Janell Carroll and I wear many hats these days.  I’m a college professor, author, international scholar, mother, animal lover, and also a sexologist. I started working on this blog a couple years ago when I was teaching the human sexuality course at a local university.  I was amazed by how many college students didn’t have adequate information about intimacy, sexuality, and related issues growing up.  I spent lots of time talking to students, listening, and trying to understand what they wanted to know.  This led to the publication of my human sexuality textbook, Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity.  I wanted to write a textbook that gave students the information they really wanted to know about human sexuality.  Too many students today tell me that they learned about sex from friends, television shows, books, and the Internet.  The majority of what they learned was not based on facts and oftentimes the incorrect information led to trouble down the road.  My goal is to be open and really talk to students about what they need and want to know when it comes to intimate relationships.  They deserve honesty and answers to their questions.  I’m a big believer in the fact that being honest will provide much more good than ignoring their questions.  I’m also the first to admit that I’ve learned so much from all my students.  We teach each other and they keep me motivated to do whatever I can to make colleges a better place to learn about love, intimacy, and sexuality.  Thanks for visiting this site and please let me know if you have questions.

In the blog below I’ll explore a variety of issues related to intimacy, college life, and sexuality.   You’ll also notice to the right of the banner above is a feature called SEXBYTE.  Here I’ll give you a little snippet of actual published research.   I also tweet and if you’re interested you can find me on Twitter (DrJanellCarroll).  If you want to check out some of my favorite photos, check out the FlickR link below.

Dr. Janell Carroll

Visiting Polk State College


Thanks to Professor Greg Harris for inviting me to speak to his psychology class at Polk State College.  It was a fun day and I really enjoyed meeting the students and talking about culture and sexuality. It’s so interesting to talk with students from around the country and find out what they are interested in and what their experiences are.  I’m thrilled they love using my textbook, Sexuality Now.  I even got to sign a couple copies!!

Thanks for the invitation.   Good luck with finals everyone!

Untreatable STDs Coming?


The World Health Organization recently announced that a new “super bug” strain of gonorrhea is growing resistant to treatment with antibiotics and could soon become untreatable. Gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection today, just behind chlamydia.  While years ago a gonorrhea infection was easily treated with penicillin, the bacteria’s adaptability has made it resistant to many types of antibiotics. Mutations that enable the bacteria to survive antibiotic treatments then quickly spread their genes, making treatments more difficult. Experts claim that an overuse of antibiotics, as well as the use of the wrong antibiotics has led to the development of the super bug.

Again, the answer is here is sex education.  We need to educate people about the risks of sexually transmitted infections and help them understand how to protect themselves.  In addition to this, we need a positive approach to sexuality that includes the discussion of sexual pleasure, needs, and desires.  Without this, individuals will be unable to communicate about sex and rates of sexually transmitted infections will continue to increase.

The Censure of Nuns Who Talk about Sex

In 2006, Sister Margaret Farley, an award-winning scholar, published “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.” The Vatican recently denounced the book, mostly because of how Farley presented her opinions about same-sex relationships and female masturbation. Farley asserted that same-sex marriage could be an important step to reducing the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization aimed at gays and lesbians.  The Vatican responded that opinions such as these were “unacceptable” since homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered.” In talking about female masturbation, Farley claimed that many women enjoyed masturbation and that she believed it can help teach women about their bodies and sexual pleasure.

Given the enormous pressure to conform to the Vatican’s teachings, I applaud Sister Margaret Farley for thinking outside the box and for having enough strength in her convictions to share them publicly.  I think it is time for organized religion to take a good look at the importance of sexuality and began talking about it. It can only make the world a better place.

For more information on this story, CLICK HERE

Teaching Women about Sexuality



This spring, Hannah Dowling, an independent filmmaker came to the University of Hartford to film my human sexuality class.  She is producing a documentary about the impact of sexuality education on young women, addressing what we teach young women, what we should be teaching them, and how sexuality education received during the middle and high-school years can affect women later in life.  It was interesting to see what students had to say about female sexuality and hear their memories of their own sex education (or lack thereof).

I talked about the importance of talking to young girls about sexuality, including issues related to sexual pleasure.  My daughter, Reagan, also discussed her thoughts about what high school aged girls think about sexuality. It’s no secret that most standard health education classes in schools discuss male ejaculation (and male orgasm), but out leave female sexual pleasure and orgasm. As a result, many female college students don’t know about the clitoris or about how to experience sexual pleasure.

I am very excited to see Hannah’s final product.  I will review it here as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, let’s talk to girls about sexuality in its entirety.  Sexual pleasure has a place in these conversations.

What Do College Students Want to Know About Sex?

I am BACK!

I’m at a loss for how to begin this post. The last year of my life has been totally consumed with the revision of my textbook, Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity.  Most days I’m researching, writing, revising, exploring, discussing, and reworking various chapters.  I spend a great deal of time talking with college students all over the country to get a better idea of what they want to know and the questions they have about sex.

I’ve also been busying working on a series of documentaries about sexuality.  This has also been really exciting because throughout the process I’ve been able to meet some really cool and interesting people, such as Kiki (who is in the photo to the left).  Kiki taught me everything about KINK and really helped me learn.  I am so thankful to her for her time and her sharing of her ideas and experiences.  In fact, over the next few days I’ll be sharing more photos of interesting people I’ve met through my year-long journey to learn more about sex.  Come back soon!

Dr. JC

For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage

I have recently come across this book by Tara Parker-pope, author of the New York Times‘s Well blog.  I’ve always liked her stuff in the New York Times, so I thought I’d give this book a try.  I was a little surprised to learn that one of the reasons she wrote the book was to explore some of the reasons why she thought her own marriage had recently ended in divorce.  But I did really appreciate her candor and approach to this subject.  This is a great book, chock full of current and fascinating research on why a marriage succeeds.  She explores areas such as monogamy, love, sex, children, money, and housework—and provides lots of good, practical advice.

I think this is a book everyone should read – especially those who are contemplating marriage.  It is so important to know this stuff prior to the “I Do.”  To find out more about the book, click here

WCSU Photos

Western Connecticut State U Rocks!!!

I traveled to Western Connecticut State University yesterday to talk about my research on cross-cultural sexuality.  It was a great trip.  The students were very responsive, asked great questions, and really were able to understand the reasons why it’s so important to think about how culture and society affects the views and attitudes about sexuality.  We could have talked all day!  A huge thanks to Adrienne who organized the event and brought me on campus to speak.  We took some fun pictures, so I’ll be posting more pictures here soon (check out the Flickr icon below as well).

Thanks to all the students who stopped by to listen yesterday – good luck finishing up your finals!

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