"The Future of Sexuality Research" Conference
This past April, researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines gathered on the campus of Indiana University for the inaugural conference of the University Consortium for Sexuality Research and Training (UCSRT), hosted by The Kinsey Institute.
In the keynote address, Dr. Martha McClintock, Ph.D. used the example of her research on odor, pheromones, and sexual selection to call for a transdisciplinary approach to sexuality issues. “The challenge is to learn to speak across disciplines,” McClintock urged, “respecting the value of various contributions and perspectives.”
The conference, "The Future of Sexuality Research: Methodological to Social Policy Innovations,” attracted a range of newer academic researchers and independent scholars, as well as many sex research pioneers. Participants represented diverse fields of study, approaches, and levels of expertise.
"Our mission was to define some of the next generation topics, create a new interdisciplinary conversation, and also to help the younger pool of scholars find new and significant networking relationships with older scholars,” said Dr. Gil Herdt, member of the steering committee and director of UCSRT.
Plenary presentations and research displays considered specific research under the broad topics of sexual citizenship and health policy, sexual identities, and divergent methodologies. Topics included the consideration of race, religion, global politics, gender identities, and youth culture.
One recurring theme was the effort to find effective ways of translating research findings in order to make meaningful data available to policy makers. Participants emphasized the need to work as advocates on issues of sexual policy, health, and human rights.
Borrowing from the title of a presentation by Dr. Deborah Tolman, the conference proved to be “solidly edgy,” exploring innovative methods of inquiry, collaboration, and research.
The full program booklet with abstracts is available online:
Collaborations continue to happen through the UCSRT Dialogues website, www.ucsrt.org.
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