Sexuality Conference Promotes Sharing of Expertise

May 25, 2012 - News Release

“Sex in 3D: Dialogue, Diversity and Determinants of Sexual Health” will be this year’s theme for Canada’s largest and longest-running sexual health forum. The 34th annual sexuality conference will take place in the University of Guelph’s Rozanski Hall, May 31-June 1, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Organizers expect to attract more than 300 researchers, nurses, physicians, public health workers, therapists, students, social workers and other health professionals from across North America.

On May 31, renowned author and performer Ivan Coyote will present “Nightmares and Triumphs from Beyond the Gender Binary.” Prof. Robin Milhausen, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, will speak June 1 on “Individual and Social Determinants of Condom Use.”

“For many decades sexual health researchers and practitioners have investigated the individual factors which impact health behavior, for example, communication skills and self-efficacy,” said Milhausen, a sexuality researcher at U of G and the conference chair. However, in recent years attention has turned to the social and structural barriers which can negatively influence health.

“Our presenters will be exploring these barriers at this year’s conference. How can factors like culture, education, and social support positively or negatively impact our sexual health? What can we do to influence these factors in our work to support the sexual health of our communities?”

Among the conference workshops are the following:

• Recognizing and confronting homophobia among youth, led by Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia, Planned Parenthood Toronto;
• the impact of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, B.J. Caldwell, HIV/STI prevention/outreach educator, AIDS Committee of Guelph and Wellington County;
• understanding and promoting sexual and reproductive health, William Fisher, University of Western Ontario;
• sexual health promotion initiatives in Australia, Erin McKay, Canadian PhD student at the University of Sydney; and
• How social media is influencing relationships, Amy Muise, University of Toronto, Mississauga & Jocelyn Wentland, University of Ottawa.

New treatment and management of sexually transmitted infections will be the focus of a May 31 clinical update for nurses and physicians.

Also on Thursday, Dr. Chris Steingart, medical director of the Sanguen Health Centre in Waterloo, will speak on “Treatment of Patients Living with Hepatitis C” at noon in Peter Clark Hall.

A five-day intensive sex therapy training program will begin June 3 for practising clinicians and graduate students.

More information is available at

“This year will be one of our largest conferences to date, with more than 35 concurrent sessions and more than 70 speakers,” Milhausen said. “It’s exciting that people from all over Canada converge in Guelph every spring for this historic event.”

Robin Milhausen
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
University of Guelph
519-824-4120, Ext. 54397

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

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