From the President's Desk - December 2016

Dear AASECT Family:


As we approach 2017, AASECT marks its 50th year as an organization. Some of you have been with AASECT since its earliest days and I cannot thank you enough for setting a foundation upon which we all keep contributing. We have a great deal to celebrate (and we certainly will do so at our summer 2017 annual conference) and we also still have significant work to do.


This is particularly true given the state of our country. This is a challenging time for many of us in the United States. Our country has been grappling with a number of controversial and often emotionally charged issues. We still have our work cut out for us when it comes to addressing issues related to social justice, race, gender, sexual orientation, fair and equitable wages, and much more.


Here at AASECT, I am confident that we have abundant common ground and a vision forward. As sexual health professionals, we care deeply about sexual rights and human rights. We believe in lifting up and supporting individuals of all sexual orientations and genders and ages and races and cultural backgrounds. We care about intellectualism. We value facts and evidence and the privilege (and it is a privilege) of grappling with science and its slow but steady progress. We value compassion and care. I look forward to working with our fellow AASECT members on important issues affecting us and our colleagues and our clients in the coming years.


As far as “local” organizational work, we continue to make progress on the 2017 conference with the program close to being finalized and soon announced – many thanks to conference co-chairs Mariotta and Jayleen for their hard work and vision. I am so grateful to PRMA Chair Ian Kerner and the team he assembled for moving a position statement forward on sex addiction. As many long-time AASECT members know, the momentum for such a statement has been growing for a number of years and influenced by numerous members. This statement joins several others that can be found on our AASECT website and we will continue to work on others on topics of interest to our members in the coming months. I am also looking forward to the 2017 Winter Institute and hope to see many of you there; Prem and Susan have put together a stellar line-up (once again) and I am thankful for the chance to learn and grow professionally among AASECT members and Institute attendees. Finally, my deepest thanks to our Executive Director, Michael Chan, and the entire Bostrom staff (Alphonsus, Kellie, Amanda) who keep us going every day in small and big ways. We could not enjoy our successes without their dedication.


With best wishes for a warm and connecting holiday season,


Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, CSE

President, AASECT

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