45 - Issue 2
Nancy Coiro, B.A., Editor
Inside this issue...
The SSSS community extends its sincerest condolences to member Linda Alperstein on the loss of her daughter, Susan. Susan died Monday, April 12, of an apparent cardiac arrest, in her home in Healdsburg, California. To express your condolences to Linda, please access her address in the Membership Directory. She may be contacted at her listed address.
Membership Directory Now Available Online!
One of the benefits of membership in SSSS is access to the Membership Directory. Previously, the directory was mailed to members annually. For the first time, the directory is available online to all current members. To obtain your password to access the directory, send an email request to Dave Fleming at email@example.com
SSSS Seeks Nominations for Awards
Distinguished Scientific Achievement
This award was developed to honor a professional for outstanding scientific contributions to the field of sexology, including such activities as educational programs, publishing research or developing new medical practices. The award honors those whose careers reflect a continuing contribution to sexual science. Nominees do not need to be members of The Society. To nominate an individual, send the nominee's CV and a paragraph explaining why they should receive the award to the Awards Committee Chair, Stephanie Sanders.
Distinguished Service to the Society
This award is presented to a member of The Society for outstanding and extensive service to The Society. Examples of such service include extensive participation on committees, the holding of positions or offices, and the developing of new local regions or chapters. Two letters of nomination are required by the Committee Chair.
Public Service Award
The Public Service Award is presented to individuals whose service has had a major impact on The Society in general. Such service includes: outstanding achievement or major impact in such arenas as public awareness of sexual issues, political advocacy, professional practice by educators, therapists or health specialists or public policy formation. Two letters of nomination by members of The Society should be sent to:
Stephanie Sanders, PhD, Awards Nomination
PO BOX 416
Allentown, PA 18105
From the President
Dear SSSS members:
During the past several months there has been a great deal of activity in the Society and among members and staff. Below are several highlights and news items:
Executive Director David Fleming has taken an active role in representing the Society in coalitions aimed at promoting sexual health and behavior research. Such participation is essential to providing a scientific foundation for sound intervention and public health prevention programs. Notably, the Society is maintaining a strong presence and voice in regularly scheduled meetings of the Coalition to Protect Research.
On March 5, 2004, Janet Hyde and John Bancroft were distinguished scientists at a Congressional Briefing at the Capitol. The highly successful and visible program was entitled Lost in Translation: Public Health Implications of Sexual Health Research. The panel members highlighted the public health implications of sexual health research.
During the recent annual meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, I visited the Kinsey Institute museum and viewed the Society archives with the Kinsey librarian. The following month, David Fleming visited the library to discuss in detail the growing archival collection of historical SSSS documents, which is being expanded and maintained. Members of the Society are encouraged to visit the museum.
The Society is finishing its annual membership drive. If you have not renewed your membership, please do so this month. To date we have received 63 new member applications. Recruiting new members is everyone’s business. In order to remain a vibrant organization all members are encouraged to invite their colleagues to join SSSS. Many of you will be pleased to hear that the Membership Directory has been created on-line. After it has been finalized, it will be available for member use only on our website.
Please be encouraged to nominate fellow colleagues for SSSS awards. Descriptions of the various awards are on our web site, published in the Member Directory, and in Sexual Science. Nominations should be sent to Stephanie Sanders c/o SSSS, P.O. Box 416 Allentown, PA 18105.
All members will be receiving a copy of The Annual Review of Sex Research for the first time this year as part of regular membership dues.
Former SSSS president, Richard Keeling, will be facilitating a workshop on SSSS Long Term Planning in Madison, WI, prior to the June Board of Directors meeting. Participants will represent all the Regions and sexual science issues of the membership. Please submit your discussion items to the national office at firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a record number of students—over 100—who participated in our Annual Meeting in San Antonio. As you all know, we highly value student participation at all levels of our Society. The Student Involvement Committee is working on another successful student turnout for the 2004 Annual Meeting in Orlando.
The San Antonio meeting netted approximately $13,000. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this event a great success!
Mark your calendars now for the 46th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, November 4 7 2004! The Annual Meeting is shaping up well under the guidance of Program co-chairs Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale and Rafael Mazin. Over 100 abstracts have been received, promising an outstanding program. Sharon McNeeley continues to add high quality to our annual meetings and she will outdo herself in Orlando.
Plenary speakers include Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Editor of Science, and Mitchell Katine, lead attorney in the 2003 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed all sodomy laws throughout the United States. There will be two international plenary panels. One panel will feature Canadian researchers in the area of public policy and the health and well being of sex workers. The other panel will be comprised of dignitaries from Latin American countries dealing with issues in the promotion of sexual health. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact and network with leading sexuality researchers.
Andrew Mattison, PhD
President, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (2003-2004)
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine
Sexuality in the News
Organizations Call for Return to Scientifically Based Governmental Policies
(Reprinted from www.ashastd.org)
Washington, DC …Three leading national public health organizations the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), the American Social Health Association (ASHA), and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) renewed their call for sexual health policy to be driven by science instead of politics.
NCSD, ASHA, and NFPRHA issued the call for science-based sexual health policy in response to today’s (3/11/04) hearing on human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer by the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources. HPV is a highly prevalent sexually transmitted infection that in most instances is asymptomatic and transient. In some cases certain strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer. Available scientific evidence suggests that the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HPV is unknown. However, condom use has been associated with lower rates of HPV-associated diseases, including cervical cancer.
“There are some who argue that because condoms are not 100% effective in preventing all sexually transmitted diseases, public health professionals should not encourage their use,” said Theresa Raphael, Executive Director of NCSD. “This is the wrong message. For those that are sexually active, condoms are the best way to reduce the risk of contracting a host of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Scaring sexually active individuals away from using condoms will not reduce the prevalence of HPV. Instead it will put millions of Americans at risk of contracting a range of preventable STDs.”
According to a January CDC report, the best way to prevent HPV infection is to refrain from all genital contact with another individual. The report also states that the current scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend condoms as a primary prevention strategy for the prevention of HPV. The report also notes, however, that there is evidence that condom use may actually reduce the risk of cervical cancer itself. Possible explanations for the protective effect of condoms against cancer may be that condom use reduces the quantity of HPV transmitted, the likelihood of re-exposure to HPV, or the exposure to a co-factor for cervical cancer, such as chlamydia or genital herpes.
“Cervical cancer is preventable, treatable, and curable,” said James R. Allen, MD, MPH, President and CEO of ASHA. “Since the invention of the Pap test, cervical cancer incidence has dropped by nearly 75%. If we want to beat cervical cancer, we must focus on making sure all women have access to cervical cancer screening and follow-up care instead of turning cervical cancer into an excuse to disparage condoms.”
Undermining public confidence in condoms jeopardizes public health. A new study presented at the National STD Prevention Conference shows that of 12,000 adolescents that took virginity pledges, nearly 9 out of 10 had sex before marriage. More importantly, the study shows that even though adolescents who took virginity pledges tended to have fewer sexual partners than those who did not vow to remain abstinent, both groups had nearly the same rate of STDs. Researchers found that this was due in part to the “pledgers’” failure to use condoms once they did become sexually active.
“What this proves is what we have known for some time that adolescents need to be encouraged to remain abstinent, but they also need to know how to protect themselves when they do eventually have sex,” said NFPRHA President and CEO Judith M. DeSarno. “These messages are not mutually exclusive. If we want to protect young people, we need to prepare them by giving them the facts about contraception and STD prevention. Withholding information or providing biased information that reflects a given moral or political agenda does not allow young people to make informed choices.”
(Excerpted from the New England Journal of Medicine, April 8, 2004.)
In a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, editors Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D., Michael F. Greene, M.D., and Alastair J.J. Wood, M.D. questioned whether the decision to postpone the approval of Plan B emergency contraception as an over-the-counter medication was politically motivated. According to the editorial, “The data overwhelmingly demonstrate that emergency contraception is safe and effective when available without a prescription. Moreover, the evidence shows that the availability of emergency contraception does not result in a change in the usual behavior or contraceptive practices of the women who are its potential users. A treatment for any other condition, from hangnail to headache to heart disease, with a similar record of safety and efficacy would be approved quickly. Why has the FDA adopted its own plan B with respect to approval for over-the-counter use, instead of going ahead with the recommended approval?” (New England Journal of Medicine, April 8, 2004) The editorial can be viewed in its entirety at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/350/15/1561?ijkey=2yT1h370t4TsY&keytype=ref&siteid=nejm%20
Sexual Science Mentor: Dr. Kurt Freund
By Michael Kuban, M.Ed., M.Sc.
Manager, Kurt Freund Laboratory
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
One morning almost a decade ago, I approached my elderly boss and inquired, “I’ve been curious, Dr. Freund. How is it you’ve sustained a 50-year marriage with your wife? What is your secret?” Without pause, he leaned forward with a grin and whispered, “It was easy, Mike. I was always attracted to her.”
Today, I realize this answer was most fitting, having come from a man whose eight-decade life was devoted to the scientific study of attraction and sexual arousal. As many are aware, Dr. Kurt Freund was a landmark figure in the world of Sexology; his life’s work was groundbreaking. And as his answer clearly reflects, he was firmly convinced of the importance of sexual attraction in influencing behavior, and ultimately in our happiness or unhappiness. However, Kurt Freund was known best for his pioneering development of the penile plethysmograph (PPG), a method for assessing sexual interest among men. In fact, today, almost 50 years after the advent of PPG, or phallometry, hundreds of laboratories across the world routinely employ phallometric procedures, and few people experienced in the field are unaware of Dr. Freund’s 40-year contribution in defining phallometry.
I worked with Dr. Kurt Freund for six years, in a very busy sexology clinic devoted to sexual arousal assessment. My introduction had unexpected beginnings; a summer job posting led me to the Behavioural Sexology Department of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Freund, along with his spry, similarly aged secretary (late 70s a very odd couple as the institute’s paradigm of sexology), and Lab Coordinator, introduced me to my position, which was to learn phallometric assessment. Eventually, I was to take on running the laboratories. On a daily basis we saw a variety of medical and legal patients presenting to the clinic due to their problems. Most had committed criminal offenses against children or women, but others were identified as having a sexual disorder -- transvestism, masochism, fetishism, exhibitionism, or similar such concern. Daunting as it was, from the very first day I knew this was a very special department.
I soon learned of Dr. Freund’s groundbreaking influence in the field -- work that helped make sexual arousal a subject for serious scientific inquiry. He had an enormous history, inspiring, yet wrought with serious hardships. He was born into an educated, liberal, German-speaking Jewish family on January 17, 1914, in Chudrim, Czechoslovakia. He received his M.D. at Charles University in Prague, and later a D.Sc. degree there in 1962. Tragically, his personal and professional lives were disrupted by the Second World War, during which most of his family was killed in the Holocaust. Then, during the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, he fled the country to Germany, leaving his belongings behind, before moving to Canada in 1968. He was appointed head of the department of Social Pathology at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (currently The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).
In the 1950s, when the medical world viewed homosexuality as an experientially acquired neurosis, Dr. Freund began working with homosexual men, either arrested for illicit sexual activity, or just wishing to become heterosexual and marry. He was one of the first scientist-practitioners, if not the first, to become convinced that homosexuality was not caused by early childhood experiences, nor was it a pathological illness in need of treatment. He believed it was likely a result of prenatal biological factors contributing to a man’s sexual development -- thoughts that reflect a contemporary understanding of the phenomenon. Indeed, his thinking was decades ahead. By the end of the 1950s his professional influence successfully helped to decriminalize homosexual behavior in Czechoslovakia (1961). Later, his influence in the international community played into the equation that led the American Psychiatric Association to take homosexuality off the list of psychiatric disorders in 1973.
His work with the phallometric test, his greatest accomplishment, dates back to papers from 1957. Unlike the more modern mercury strain or stretch gauges, Dr. Freund’s phallometric apparatus consisted of a glass cylinder and small air cuff that sealed the penis in the cylinder. Small changes in penile size were measurable by the air displaced from the cylinder, a method which today is still employed in our lab, and which is superior in sensitivity than other devices. His earliest work easily differentiated homo- from heterosexual men (which he was doing to help identify straight men falsely claiming homosexuality in order to exempt themselves from military service), and his objective measures showed that, contrary to psychoanalytic belief at the time, there was no true “aversion” to female genitalia among homosexual men. Rather, there was simply a mere absence of any true erotic interest in females.
From this beginning, Dr. Freund quickly began using his method for assessing true sexual offenders. With a reasonable accuracy he was able to identify pedophiles, whose primary attractions were towards the immature body physique, and not that of an adult. This condition he also viewed as essentially immutable. And, while always mindful of the victims of sexual offenses, Dr. Freund was aware that there was some sort of abnormality in a man who victimized children. In the1960s he worked to objectively define the subtypes of child molesters in order to help devise a means of prevention, as well as to help the offenders themselves, who often lead tortured lives. Recent research has amply validated his focus on phallometrically measured sexual arousal, showing that phallometry is the single best predictor of re-offenses among child molesters, ahead of any other personality problems, substance abuse, or any childhood or rearing factors. Dr. Freund’s work influenced the current wave of offender treatment programs, which generally focus on relapse prevention, while also recognizing that one’s underlying sexual preferences for children may not change. Frankly aware of his helplessness in assisting men to change the direction of their sexual interests, Dr. Freund, long before most clinicians, grasped the role of the sexual drive in leading to a failure in self-control. He was always a strong advocate for sex drive reducing medications for highly paraphilic men incapable of controlling their illicit behavior, believing that both the victims and the offenders would benefit from lowering the intensity the drive.
Though well into his fifties when he arrived in Canada, his career flourished at our institute. By the mid-90s Dr. Freund’s patient database had grown to over 8,000 records; his publications on phallometric assessments were voluminous, and when I started with him he had two laboratories in full operating capacity. By the end of his career, he had authored over a hundred scientific publications, and his name in leading sexology journals was referred to more frequently than any other, including Alfred Kinsey or Masters and Johnson. Behind him was left a trail of forensic psychiatrists highly skilled in sexological disorders.
In 1995, at the age of 81, Dr. Freund resigned due to health reasons. He still continued working daily in his office next to mine, until age 82, at which time he developed advanced lung cancer. Out of what was believed to be a compassionate desire to spare his wife from suffering his gradual decline, Dr. Freund committed suicide.
Clearly, to those lucky enough to know him, Dr. Freund was a model behavioral scientist, a model sexologist -- a kind European gentleman whose intellectual and scientific integrity was matched by his personal integrity and his compassion for his patients. My own memories are vivid. Frequently he would emerge from his office shaking his head sadly, saying, “This poor man is so afflicted”. I was also witness to his humble and generous spirit when he did things such as gladly handing lunch money to a hungry stranger who wandered into his office. And he once naively and innocently tried to hand over his own vacation days to a junior colleague because, as it was relayed, “I don’t want them… here, you take them”. In the 1950s, in partial reparation for having erroneously counseled gay men into unsuccessful marriages, he offered profound apologies and returned fees charged for their therapy.
I began working with Dr. Freund in 1990. His influence touched me deeply. The objectivity of the phallometric assessments I found profound. My fascination for the field, my desire for a scientific and rigorous understanding of sexological issues, and my compassion for people, led me along this path upon which I’d stumbled. I completed a Master’s degree in Medical Science in 1997, under Dr. Howard Barbaree, Head of the Forensic Division, and himself a renowned researcher and Forensic Psychologist. My own research, following in Freund’s steps, outlined the accuracy of various phallometric techniques. I then turned to a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, where I was able to better hone my clinical expertise with patients. After six years with Dr. Freund, I moved into the position of undertaking detailed sexological interviews with our patients, and then of conducting phallometric evaluations. Dr. Ray Blanchard, himself a student of Freund and a highly regarded sexologist and researcher, was appointed head of the now Clinical Sexology Department, and picked up the Phallometric research legacy. We renamed the laboratory “The Kurt Freund Phallometric Laboratory” in memory of Dr. Freund, and continue assessing 275 new patients annually. Our major research includes phallometric classification studies, neuropsychological functioning of pedophiles, and an ongoing MRI study of pedophiles.
Do you have a mentor, an unsung hero? Who inspired you to become a sex researcher, educator or therapist? What about them inspired you? This is your opportunity to publicly recognize that important guide on your professional path. Tell us who they are, what they meant to you, and how they impacted your life. If you are interested in sharing the story of your mentor, please contact the editor at email@example.com. List Mentor as the subject heading.
Upcoming Issues of Sexual Science
Sexual Science is accepting submissions for upcoming issues. Suggested submissions may include reports of research in progress, sexuality in the news, sexuality education, sex therapy, and legal and ethical issues in sexuality. Regional information regarding the challenges faced by sex researchers, educators and therapists are also welcome. Other possible topics include international comparisons of sexuality issues and rights, cultural acceptance of difference with applications to sexuality and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and cybersex. Articles will be credited to the author and may be edited. Please send all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org , and write Sexual Science in the subject heading.
Books for Review in Archives of Sexual Behavior
Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D., editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, is seeking sexual health professionals to review books for the Archives of Sexual Behavior. If you are interested in reviewing a book, Dr Zucker will send you a complimentary copy of the book, along with the instructions for preparation of the review. Reviews are typically 500-2000 words in length, depending on the book. The instructions will advise regarding length. For a complete listing of books available for review, contact Dr. Zucker at Ken_Zucker@camh.net
Attention Young Public Health Professionals and/or Students
The Jay S.
Drotman Memorial Award is given to a promising young public health professional or
student, 30 years of age or less, who has demonstrated potential in the health
field (broadly defined) by challenging traditional public health policy or practice
in a creative and positive manner. Neither academic credentials nor grades will
be a factor in selecting the awardee. The Drotman Award Selection Committee
invites nominations that meet these criteria.
Recognition and impetus will be given to the career of promising young public health initiates through the Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award, presented annually since 1979 by the American Public Health Association. The 2004 Drotman Award presentation will be made at the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in November 6-10, 2004.
The winner of the award will receive a $500 cash award; round-trip coach airfare to the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC; a commemorative plaque; and complimentary registration to the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association.
A separate form must be submitted for each nomination. Describe in 250 words or less the merits of the nominee. Submit nominations by April 30, 2004 to American Public Health Association, c/o Deborah Dillard, 800 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001-3710. Nominations received after this date cannot be guaranteed consideration for the 2004 award. Nominee must be 30 years or younger on the due date of receipt of nominations.
Upcoming National Meetings:
2004 AASECT Annual Conference
x/\SPEAKING OUT: Advocating for Sexual Rights and Sexual Health
2004 Conference Co-Chairs: Helen 'Ginger' Bush, MSW and William Finger, PhD
May 12-16, 2004 Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Sponsored by AASECT. For more information, contact: email@example.com
Sexual Health, Science and Deeply Held Beliefs: A Conference built upon former Surgeon General David Satcher's Call to Action. May 24, 2004, Washington, DC. Sponsored by Morehouse School of Medicine, Washington, D.C. Information is available at www.SatcherCallToAction.com
SSSS Eastern and Midcontinent Regions
Is Sex Necessary? Or, Why Do You Feel The Way You Do?
June 10-13, 2004, Madison, Wisconsin. Information is available at www.sexscience.org If you have particular continuing education needs that are not being met through the conference offerings, please email Sharon McNeely at firstname.lastname@example.org
SSSS 46th Annual Conference
Sexual Science and Politics: Mutual Interactions
November 4-7, 2004, Orlando, FL. Information is available at www.sexscience.org
Upcoming International Meetings:
26th Annual Guelph Sexuality Conference Sexual Realities: Working in a Changing Social Context will be held June 14-16, 2004. Further information is available on the website (www.open.uoguelph.ca/sexconf) or by email: email@example.com
International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) The Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) will be held in Helsinki, Finland on June 16-19th. Interested attendees may submit abstracts for posters to Lucia O’Sullivan, Ph.D. (LFO2@columbia.edu). The conference will feature a number of excellent plenary speakers, a range of symposia addressing new developments in sexuality research, and a social excursion on the Baltic Sea. More information can be found on www.iasr.org.
The 8th International Conference of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (IATSO), will be in Athens, Greece, from October 6-9, 2004. The conference will include information on paraphilias, sexual offenders, sexual violence, and sexual abuse. The conference web address is http://www.iatsoathens.gr/
The 31st Annual Canadian Sex Research Forum will be in Fredericton, New Brunswick on October 7-9. 2004. Conference planning is still in process.
Women and the New Sexual Politics: Profits vs. Pleasures will be held July 9-10, 2005, in Montreal, Quebec, at Le Nouvel Hotel. The keynote speaker will be Barbara Ehrenreich. The conference is sponsored by the Campaign for a New View of Women’s Sexual Problems. Leonore Tiefer, Ph.D. is the conference chair. The conference committee is currently being formed. More information can be found at http://www.fsd-alert.org.
17th World Congress of Sexology The World Congress will be held July 10-15, 2005, at the Montreal Convention Centre. Preliminary program information is available at www.montrealsexo.com
The Foundation for the
Scientific Study of Sexuality (FSSS)
FSSS is a nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to supporting scientific research related to sexuality; it is the only foundation whose sole and primary mission is to promote funding for conducting scholarly, scientific research to further our understanding of all aspects of sexuality. Created in 1986 by SSSS, the Foundation has as its goal to establish a perpetual pool of funds (an endowment) to facilitate the scholarly study of sexuality. Tax-deductible, charitable donations to FSSS can be made to the Endowment Fund or as unrestricted funds. Donations in forms such as royalty assignment, deferred gifts and gifts through wills can be arranged.
Where does FSSS fit into the scheme of things where SSSS is concerned? A recent is example is the Texas Barbeque held at the San Antonio conference. According to Clive M. Davis, the barbeque was a great fundraising success. Approximately $4,000 was raised to support the work of the Foundation. Most of these funds will be directed to supporting the FSSS “Grants-in-Aid” program in 2004. Because of the success of this event, the maximum grant amount has been raised to $1,000 for 2004. For information about applying for a “Grant-in-Aid,” contact the FSSS office at 317 Scott Ave., Syracuse, NY 13224 or e-mail Clive M. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wired! Sexuality Websites of Interest
Dr. Mitch Tepper founded Sexualhealth.com in 1996, to address the sexual education needs of people with disabilities. While originally designed specifically with an emphasis on sexuality and disabilities, the site has grown to encompass sexuality related issues in general. According to information on the site, over 50 sexual health professionals volunteer their services to answer reader questions. Sexualhealth.com has a list of available resources on disability and sexuality, and has web casts available on various sexual health topics, including women’s health, men’s health and sex and aging. Visit the site at www.sexualhealth.com
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education. AGI publishes Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, International Family Planning Perspectives, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy and special reports on topics pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation.
Link directly to their site at http://www.agi-usa.org/
Deadline for submissions for the next edition is June 18, 2004. Please send all submissions to: email@example.com Please write Sexual Science in the subject heading.