Sexuality studies opens center at downtown campus
March 20, 2008 10:01 AM
San Francisco State University’s Department of Human Sexuality Studies has combined with the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality and the National Sexuality Resource Center to form the National Centers on Sexuality. The center had its grand opening to celebrate the move to the downtown college College of Extended Learning last Friday, March 14, 2008.
SF State is the only university in the nation with a graduate program for Human Sexuality Studies, focusing primarily on social justice issues.
“There is a lack of Sexuality studies in education,” said Gilbert Herdt, chair of Human Sexuality Studies department at SF State. “Our center is here to contribute to the understanding of different options to human sexuality.”
The center focuses on “advancing sexual literacy to strengthen individual and community well-being.” Each professor focuses on a different issue facing the community, issues they say are under-represented. A SF State student study, under the supervision of principal research investigator and professor Jessica Fields, was aimed on jailed women and HIV education.
This collaborative investigation focused on researchers, educators, and inmates working together to generate knowledge about women, sexuality and incarceration.
“We do this research to improve the quality of life for everyone,” said 22-year-old Christina Monroe, a student intern at the center. “If we do not hear the voices of the suffering how will we understand their needs?”
Although the center has provided the students with a plethora of resources as well as positioning them in an environment that is conducive to their learning environment, some students feel that the center may be be at a disadvatage because they do not have a presense on campus.
“We are dedicated to promoting sexual identity,” said Joy O’Donnell, director of outreach and partnerships. “Currently, sexual education is focused from a biological, abstinence-only perspective and we would like to bridge that gap by providing information from a social justice standpoint.”
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