Annual Conference Plenary Spotlight

Join us at the 2017 AASECT Annual Conference in Las Vegas for these exciting plenary sessions! 

Engaging Diversity Opening Plenary

Optimizing Sexual Health Care for Refugee Women: Special Focus on Sexual and Gender-based Violence & Female Genital Cutting

Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, MD, MSc, FACOG

In recent years, the United States has resettled increasing numbers of refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries due to war and conflict. Sexual health providers are caring for these vulnerable populations and may grapple with the many challenges in optimizing culturally competent and quality sexual health care for refugee women who may be survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence, as well as such cultural practices as Female Genital Cutting. This presentation will provide an overview of the global refugee crisis underscoring the particular vulnerabilities of refugee women and threats to their sexual health; identifying factors that may influence health disparities in sexual outcomes. Best practice strategies will be proposed and suggested tips on optimizing quality sexual health care. Prevailing gaps will be identified for future research and health policy directives towards improved quality of sexual health care for refugee women. 


General Plenary

Combatting Sexual Misconduct in Schools: Education, Prevention and Response

Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, JD

In January 2014, President Obama and Vice President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum creating the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (Task Force). The Task Force was created to: raise awareness of the frequency with which sexual assault occurs at all school levels; let survivors of sexual assault know that they are not alone and that there are resources to help; ensure that colleges and universities across the country know how to develop a comprehensive plan to keep students safe from sexual assault and help schools live up to their obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and effectively respond when sexual assaults occur.

In the nearly three years that the Task Force was in place, unprecedented attention was directed to the issue of sexual assault on campus and in the K-12 setting. Schools across the nation have developed, deepened and/or re-examined their approaches to educating students and preventing and responding to sexual misconduct and dating violence. This session will provide an overview of some of the major developments in this space and assess where schools should go in the future to create safe and equitable learning environments for all students.


Schiller Plenary

Discovering Our Lives, Our Bodies and Our Sexuality: The Journey of a Women’s Health Activist

Byllye Y. Avery, MEd

Thirty-four years ago, two thousand Black women gathered and declared: ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired,’ echoing the words of Fannie Lou Hamer. They stood at the precipice of a crusade when they attended the first conference of the National Black Women’s Health Project in Atlanta, GA. Together, they broke the conspiracy of silence that imprisoned, paralyzed and robbed them of their power as Black women. They made a commitment to improve their health and lives. Byllye Avery put that promise into action and has been a health care activist dedicated to bettering the welfare of African American women through self-help groups and advocacy networks.

This presentation will cover Avery’s journey as an activist at the heart of the women’s health movement. She will share intimate experiences from 1970 to 1987 as women began to learn about themselves, their bodies and the health-related issues they were facing. Self-discovery and mutual sharing of stories and an analysis of their experiences became a way to build awareness, stimulate activism and contribute to the then developing field of women’s health. 


Saturday Luncheon Plenary

Envisioning Sexual Health

Douglas Braun-Harvey, LMFT, CGP, CST

Sexual health based psychotherapy, as Stephen Covey says, "Begins with the end in mind".  How does a sex educator and/or therapist motivate people to promote and maintain a personal vision of sexual health?  Doug Braun-Harvey proposes six sexual health principles as a foundation for effective and ethical sex therapy and education. Consensus elements of global sexual health definitions favor a principled sexual value system that balances pleasure and safety while protecting sexual rights.  Twenty-five years of working with men who experience their sexual behavior as out of their control provides poignant examples of therapist and client collaboratively shifting their gaze from ameliorating sexual disorders to envisioning sexual health.


Whipple Plenary

Strategies of Human Mating

David M. Buss, PhD

The session will discuss theories and empirical evidence on the science of human mating and sexual strategies. These include long-term mating, short-term mating and sexual infidelity. The session will examine the domains in which women and men are similar and different in their sexual psychology.


For more information visit the conference website -



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