March 17, 2007

Mar 24 event details, sex education ideas

Poster for AVP conference Exploring Healthy Sexualities

Here’s the poster for the March 24 healthy sexuality conference at the University of Victoria, where I’ll be presenting. Dig those ladybugs!

I’ll be talking about sex education— offering lots of info about bodies and sexuality, as well as questioning the concept of sexperts and an "official" healthy sexuality.

I love the work of a lot of sex experts (in the last month, I’ve posted about Betty Dodson, Ph.D, Heather Corinna, Island Sexual Health Society...), but I think itís important to keep a critical perspective on any kind of professionalization.

It’s a fascinating phenomenon, that as soon as something gets defined in terms of health or education, the definition of “healthy” or “educated” gets steadily more ambitious and demanding. I struggle with this, given that I occasionally get credited as an expert because of this website, and I think all sex-positive education would benefit from a good hard look at the intimidation factor of experts and educators.

I posted ages ago about Leonore Tiefer’s great criticisms of the medicalization of sex and sexual dysfunction, and there is quite a lot of feminist sexuality literature that talks about professionalization and power. (Find anything criticizing Masters and Johnson, if you need a place to start.)

Lately though, I’ve been finding that books about education have a lot of similar insights. Convergence! I’ve been taking notes from books by John Holt, John Dewey, Maria Montessori, and so on, and labelling a lot of things “vagina deja vu.” (If you have books to recommend, by all means get in touch.)

My talk at the conference will be more focussed than this! Whenever I describe things here on the blog I get the urge to provide you with a complete set of relevant links. Come to the talk for a more straightforward narrative experience.

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