Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

June 05, 2000

Annual sex conference examines complexity in sexuality, health

The 22nd annual Guelph Conference and Training Institute on Sexuality runs June 12-21at the University of Guelph. The theme of this year's conference is "What's Hot? Complexity & Change in Sexuality and Sexual Health" featuring sexuality and the law, transsexual/transgender voices and the joy of cybersex. The event will bring together more than 400 sexual health professionals.

The "open" portion of the conference runs June 19-21 and includes more than 35 concurrent sessions. The conference is open only to registrants and the media. Media passes for the conference may be arranged in advance. A media registration desk will be set up on the ground floor of the Thornbrough Building.

Program highlights:

Monday, June 19 (preconference workshop) 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

--"The Fire of Love: Integrating Sexuality and Spirituality." Exploring views of sexuality and spirituality from historical, religious, social and cultural perspectives through personal reflection and workshop exercises.

--"Shaping Desire: Body Image and Sexual Expression." Exploring the social construction of body image, building strategies to foster deeper, more authentic experiences of the body.

--"Sexuality Education in the Classroom." Developing new strategies and usable materials to work with students and improve classroom presentations.

Conference keynote: "Regulating Pleasure: Sexuality and the Law." 7 to 8 p.m. Professor Alan Young from Osgoode Hall and a civil rights lawyer, explores the ways in which the law regulates or prohibits consensual sexual activity and the risks and responsibilities for person in positions of authority with respect to sexual health education and care. Young represented a number of clients in cases related to bawdy houses and prostitution.

Tuesday, June 20

Plenary Panel, "Transsexual/Transgender Voices," 9 - 10:30 a.m. A panel of activists, educators and counsellors from Guelph, Toronto and New York.

Concurrent sessions, 11 a.m. to noon include:

--"Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Considerations and Consequences." How to mobilize a community around the issues of teen pregnancy.

--"Sex and the Body Beautiful." Exploring the ways in which consumer sexual culture insinuates standardized body images in the everyday erotic lives of people.

--"Infertility: Medical, social, emotional and sexual implications." An overview of new reproductive technologies and ethical and medical issues.

--"Loving more than one: Rethinking relationship structures." Examines alternative relationship structures, dispels myths about loving more than one person, discussion of alternative relationship paradigms.

Afternoon concurrent sessions, 2 to 5 p.m. include:

-- "The Condom Police." How a group of peer educators set up a system of supplying business and agencies with free condoms and "Providing sexual health services to street youth," how an outreach team from Ottawa provided counselling, testing and contraceptives, a needle exchange and STD treatment on the street.

--"Sexuality Education." New materials never before presented at the conference, focuses on grades 6 - 9 and strategies that are easy to implement. And "Edu-tainment: A unique approach to sexuality education," looks at using edu-tainment as a teaching and learning tool

Wednesday, June 21

Plenary Address: 9 - 10 a.m., "The Joy of Cybersex: All you need to know about sex information on the web." Deborah Levine, author of "The Joy of Cybersex: A Guide for Creative Lovers" who designed "Go Ask Alice," the award-winning sexuality question and answers website at Columbia University. Will introduce participants to the best sites on the Internet, including sex information and advice columns, search engines and the perils of Internet sex surfing.

Concurrent sessions, 10:30 a.m. to noon include:

--"The women's bathhouse experience." How the bathhouse created new opportunities for women to explore and affirm their sexuality.

-- "Talking about sexual health is a healthy thing to do." Strategies for counsellors, educators and health professionals to help clients open up communication about sexual questions and concerns.

--"Differences in gender development: Implications for sexuality education." Explores gender differences in conceptualizing sexual relationships, gender classes and approaches to peer pressure.

--"Promoting emotional and sexual health for people living with genital herpes." Showcases a community-based education and counselling programs, medical treatments and coping strategies.

Afternoon concurrent sessions, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

-- "Affairs: Truths and consequences." Explores the types of affairs, motivations for pursuing affairs and impact of affairs on the relationships, including the family system.

-- "What's new, improved and recycled." Latest trends in sexual practices, products and services, and "What's new in emergency contraception," update on the methods of emergency contraception and access.

-- "Virtual attraction: Who's rocking the boat." The basis of online flirting, sites and chatrooms and example of real people's experiences.

--"Tribes of Adornment: Piercing, tattooing and other forms of body art." Reasons people choose body art as a form of self expression.

-- "Tantra 101: the basics." Explores a form of conscious lovemaking that builds intimacy, enhances relationships and makes explicit the spirit of sexual expression.

For details and a full program of events, contact the University of Guelph's News Service: Alex Wooley, manager, (519) 824-4120, Ext.6982; or Lori Hunt, Ext. 3338, media relations officer.

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