Campus News

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

News Release

May 31, 2005

"Promoting Sexual Health" Theme of Annual Sexuality Conference

The 27th annual Guelph Sexuality Conference runs June 6 to 15 at the University of Guelph. Started in 1978, the conference is recognized as Canada’s largest and longest-running annual training and educational forum for sexual health professionals.

Focusing on the theme “Promoting Sexual Health: Across the Country, Across the Lifespan,” this year’s conference will address sexuality issues that affect people at different stages of life and celebrate the exchange of ideas and information among participants and guests from across Canada. Talks and workshops will explore topics such as contraception, queer parenting, the prevention of child sexual abuse, discovering sexual identity and strategies for sexual education in schools. The event will bring together more than 400 educators, nurses, physicians, therapists, social workers, clergy, students and other health professionals.

The conference is open only to registrants and the media. Media passes may be arranged in advance. A media registration desk will be set up on the ground level of the Thornbrough Building.

The conference opens with a five-day intensive sex therapy training program June 6 to 10, designed to provide specialized training in sex counselling and therapy.

Program highlights:

Tuesday, June 14

Plenary Address: 9 to 10:15 a.m.

“Unpacking Pandora’s Box: Giving Voice to the Sexual Spirit of the Aged Person.” A discussion examining the sexual behaviours of sexually vulnerable people in institutional settings and issues of censorship and repression of sexual expression in aged people.

Morning concurrent sessions, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

“Culturally Sensitive Safer Sex Messages for Women Over 40.” A workshop focused on issues women face when entering new relationships at this point in life.

“Queer Parenting: History, Legal Developments, Research and Practice.” A look at the dramatically shifting social, legal and political landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning families.

“Meeting the Sexual Health Needs of People With Physical and Developmental Disabilities.” This session will identify appropriate and effective strategies and resources for discussing sexual issues with those with special needs.

Afternoon concurrent sessions, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

“Contraception Update.” An informative session on new and emerging forms of birth control and current questions and controversies.

“A High School Peer Program for STI/HIV Prevention.” An introduction to four fun interactive exercises designed for professionals to use in guiding teens through a variety of sexuality-based issues and questions.

Late afternoon concurrent sessions, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

“What It Means to Be a Man — Across the Lifespan.” This presentation will examine issues from individual, relational, cultural and historical perspectives, with emphasis on the developmental implications in the mid and later years of men’s lives.

“Coming Out: Beyond the Basics.” A critical look at expectations surrounding coming out and its complexities when culture, race, ethnicity and religion further complicate the process.

“Social Marketing for Sexual Health: A Framework for Service Providers.” This presentation will enhance participants’ understanding of social marketing approaches that motivate and influence positive risk reduction practices in different populations.

Wednesday, June 15

Plenary address, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

“STIs in Canada: Overview and Implications.” This talk will outline major trends in sexually transmitted infections in Canada over the past few years and will highlight emerging and re-emerging STIs.

Morning concurrent sessions, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Sexual Health Education and Media Literacy: Some Lessons From Tobacco.” An examination of the role the media play in shaping young people’s sexual choices, values and attitudes.

“Affairs: Truths and Consequences.” An exploration of the types of affairs, motivations for pursuing affairs, their impact on relationships, and an eight-stage model for the treatment of affairs.

“Sexual Health Education and Service Delivery Within Islamic Tradition.” A look at the cultural and religious perspectives that influence Canadians from Muslim countries in the Middle East, as well as the research that has helped in the development of sexual education programs and services for Islamic women.

Afternoon concurrent sessions, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

“Communicating With Adolescents: Experiences of a School-Based Teen Clinic.” A discussion of strategies and practical approaches for communicating with teenagers about sexual health issues based on the 10-year experience of a school-based sexual health physician and a public health nurse.

“Deepening Into the Erotic: Transformation Through Guided Self-Healing.” Participants will be introduced to Guided Self-Healing, a mind-body, psycho-spiritual, energetic, conscious-based framework that can be used to transform symptoms of sexual dysfunction, deepen understanding of those symptoms and identify one’s deepest erotic yearnings.

Closing plenary, 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.

“Do You Understand What You Say You Hear: Cultural Understandings of Sexuality and Sexual Orientation in Service Delivery and Education.” This presentation will explore the idea that topics of sexuality and sexual orientation need to be placed within a cultural context.

For more details and a full program of events, contact Karen Maki, manager of program development, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53412. The complete program and registration form are available online at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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