Happy Holidays, Colleagues, I hope you will be with those you love during your holidays. Before we all get totally into the flow of holiday schedules, however, I want to take a moment to share some of what AASECT board members have been working on since July 1, when we assumed our new leadership roles. We had our first in-person board training and meeting November 2 and 3, and I want to share some of these highlights.
Each year at the AASECT Annual Conference, we honor leaders in the sexuality field. We invite you to nominate someone in one or all of the following award categories. Please send your completed nomination forms to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 16, 2019.
Volunteers are an integral part of the annual conference as they provide various services to help attendees get the most out of the conference experience. The primary responsibility of the conference volunteer team is scanning attendee badges for CE credits, however your contributions could also include: welcoming attendees, moderating workshops, and directing attendees to appropriate conference locations. The conference organizing committee is looking for volunteers who can embody a welcoming and friendly disposition so that attendees can feel a personal connection to AASECT.
Dear Members, As the Chair of the Certification Steering Committee, I want to keep you updated on the latest news regarding certification policies, rules and procedures. Once each year in the fall, the chairs of the Certification Committee (Educator, Counselor, Therapist & Supervisor) meet to review and discuss all issues related to certification. Over the course of the past year, we have been keeping track of “wrinkles” in our processes and suggestions by you, the members, to make the process smoother and keep up with best practices and technology.
As I write this first column as AASECT President, I am emerging from four intense, rewarding days at AASECT’s 2018 Summer Institute, Decentering the Norm: Social Justice Transformations in Sex Therapy, Counseling and Education. Participants, presenters and organizers left the Institute with this consensus: We need to expand our work beyond trying to help heal only individuals, couples, and families. We need to embrace work as change agents in our communities. Would it be too much to claim that until we all can expect social justice, none of us will experience the freedom and affirmation needed to optimize sexual health?
On April 11, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (hereafter, FOSTA-SESTA). The law purports to address the scourge of sex trafficking by, in the language of the legislation, “clarify[ing]” section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230, commonly known as the Communications Decency Act of 1996). Section 230 was originally inserted as a “safe harbor” provision in order to provide to websites and internet forums immunity from liability for the actions and posts of their users. FOSTA-SESTA removes this immunity in cases of potential sex trafficking, forcing sites and platforms to remove or censor any user content that could, per the language of the law, “promote and facilitate prostitution.”
AASECT is opposed to the current policy of the Trump Administration and the US Department of Defense regarding blocking transgender Americans from serving in the United States military. We join other organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, as well as former Surgeons General M. Joycelyn Elders and David Satcher in opposing the ban on transgender troops and questioning the Defense Department’s rationale for excluding transgender people from service.
Greetings, AASECT colleagues! My name is Rosalyn Dischiavo, I am the incoming chairperson for the Professional Education Steering Committee, which includes conferences, institutes, and the CE approval committee. Previously, I have served on the Certification Committee, the CE committee, and as the chairperson of the Organizational Providers committee. I am still developing goals together with my sub-committee chairs, but my main goals for this term are all aimed at making AASECT processes and procedures more understandable and simple for new applicants and current members.
I’m a brand new AASECT Board member and chair of the Public Relationships, Media and Advocacy committee. For those who don’t know me – I was trained as a sex therapist in the early 1980’s in the post-doctoral program run by Sandra Leiblum and Ray Rosen in New Jersey’s University of Medicine and Dentristy, and I first joined AASECT shortly thereafter. I’m a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist and sex therapy supervisor. But I entered grad school thinking of myself as an activist: I’d been active in the civil rights movement and peace movement in the 1960’s, and in the feminist and lesbian rights movements of the 1970’s. And I was deeply suspicious of ‘psychiatry,’ which I considered to be an extension of patriarchal, racist, and homophobic institutions. My activist identity has always informed my work, which since 1976 has been primarily with the LGBTQ+ community. So when I was invited to chair this committee, and was told my responsibility would primarily be to help make AASECT more active in taking public positions in line with advocacy for the populations we serve and values we hold, it was a natural for me.