Conference Explores Impact of Globalization, Technology on Sexuality

June 02, 2008 - News Release

The Guelph Sexuality Conference, Canada's largest and longest-running sexual health forum, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Running from June 9 to 11 at the University of Guelph, the annual conference will bring together close to 500 educators, nurses, physicians, therapists, social workers, clergy, students and other health professionals from across North America.

"We will have more people attending the conference this year than in previous years because we have a strong and much more extensive program than ever before," said Richard Barham, chair of the conference planning committee and a retired professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition.

The theme of this year's conference is "Enhancing Sexual Health in a Rapidly Changing World."

A number of the sessions will explore the impact increasing globalization and advancement in technology is having on people's sexuality and sexual health, said Barham.

The national conference was launched 30 years ago by the University's then Department of Family Studies with funding from Health Canada.

"We decided to run the conference to develop the strength of sexuality in our department, but I don't think anyone knew it would last this long," said Barham. "The strong interest from people across the country has helped pushed it along."

The conference, which is taking place in the Thornbrough Building and the University Centre, is open only to registrants and the media. Media passes may be arranged in advance, and a media registration table will be set up during the event near the entrance of the Thornbrough Building.

There will also be pre-conference workshops June 9 covering sexual education for young people, making health agencies inclusive to those of all sexual orientations, and restorative justice and the use of facilitated dialogue in cases of sexual trauma.

For more information on the conference and a complete schedule, visit the website.

Program Highlights

June 10
Opening session: 8:45 to 10:30 a.m.
-East Versus West in the Treatment of Sexual Disorders: Mindfulness, Medical and Psychological Treatments
Morning concurrent sessions: 10:30 a.m. to noon
-Collaboration in Calgary – Working Together for Sexual Health and Well-Being
-Be Sure, Get Tested! Promoting Evidence-Based Practice in Promotion of HIV Testing for Individuals Who Are in the Contemplative Stage
-Beyond the Clinic and the Classroom: Engaging the Public in Discussions About Sexual and Reproductive Health
-The Criminalization of HIV Transmission in Canada
-The Sense Project: Changing the Culture of Sexual Health in Schools
-Trans Bodies, Trans Lives: Toward Trans-inclusive Sexual Health Information and Professional Practices
-Perinatal Sexuality: What You Always Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask!
Afternoon concurrent sessions: 1:15 to 3:15 p.m.
-Contraception Update
-Black African and Caribbean Gay and Bisexual Men in Toronto: Understanding and Mobilizing Communities for HIV Prevention
-Talk to Me: A Comprehensive Sexuality Education Resource
-The (New) Ontario Rainbow Health Resource Centre
-"Ally" Explorations: Discussing the Role of Allies in Addressing Homophobia, Heterosexism and Transphobia With Youth
-Using Community Capacity Building to Create a Supportive Environment Toward Healthy Sexual and Reproductive Health Choices in an Isolated Inuit Community
-Physical Examination Following the Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse
Closing session: 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.
-Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic

June 11
Opening session: 8:45 to 10:30 a.m.
-The Internet: For Better and for Worse
Morning concurrent sessions: 10:30 a.m. to noon
-Development of a Comprehensive Sexual Health Indicators Assessment Model for Canadians
-Theatre for Positive Change: Sexual Health Education Through Empowerment and Interaction
-Tickling the Keyboard: Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex and Technology but Didn't Want to Ask
-"I'm Convinced I have HIV!" How to Counsel High-Anxiety HIV Repeat-Testers
-Gonorrhea — Hard to Spell, Easy to Catch: The Exploration of Launching a Sexual Health Campaign for Youth Aged 15 to 18
-Condom-ania: How Creative Condom Campaigns in the Yukon are Getting People Talking
-How Teens Understand Virginity: Implications for Sexual Behaviour
-Supporting Parents to Deal With Teenage Sexuality in Asian and South Asian Communities
-Sexual Expression Among Older Gay Men
Afternoon concurrent sessions: 1:15 to 3:05 p.m.
-Planets and Iceberg: Two Amazing Group Exercises Learned Through Doing
-Youth and the Internet: Emerging Trends
-Taking Poz Prevention to the Next Step
-Pleasure-Based Sexual Education for Youth
-Overcoming Barriers in Service Delivery to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Refugees and Newcomers to Canada
-One-Stop Queer Shop
-Supporting Healthy and Pleasurable Sex Lives in a Mental Health Context
-Best Approaches to Understanding and Supporting the Two Spirit Journey
Closing session: 3:05 to 4:30 pm.
-Advocating for Healthy Sexuality for All Canadians

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1