An Electronic Newsletter
Written and published by Marty Klein, Ph.D.
Issue #24 February 2002
Annual Awards Issue
It's a pleasure to present this year's Sexual Intelligence Awards. By coincidence, many winners are from California! The geography balances out somewhat with our first international winner. We also have our youngest winners thus far, which is a special treat.
As a reminder, last year's winners were:
To read about why they received their awards, click here.
- NBC's "Just Shoot Me"
- Novelist Philip Roth
- Filmmaker Philip Kaufman
- Internet activists Peacefire
- Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
- The Free Speech Coalition
- The California & New York Departments of Health
Our regular format of news & commentary will resume next month--the start of our third year. I continue to appreciate the overwhelmingly positive response of so many readers. Please keep writing with your comments, praise, criticism, and story ideas. And please give several subscriptions to friends and colleagues--the price is right, and surely you know people who will enjoy it. Our policy is firm--names will never be traded or sold.
This year's Sexual Intelligence Awards go to:
* S.F. County Supervisor Mark Leno
Politicians who pass up money to stand on principle?
Last spring, Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act, requiring America's libraries to install Internet filtering software by 2003. On October 1, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to ban filters from library computers, probably costing the city $20,000 in federal funds. Supervisor Mark Leno organized San Francisco's defiance of the Act, the nation's first city to do so.
Says Leno, "Filters block people from finding important information on AIDS, sexuality, breast cancer and other potentially controversial topics," as well as Super Bowl XXX and the San Francisco Chronicle. And library Internet access "is often used by folks from different ethnic communities who may not have computers in their own homes. That's where the free speech issue is especially significant and unfair."
Even more impressive, Leno tackles today's "what about the children" panic head-on: "Youth need access to HIV and reproductive rights information that Internet filtering software can block," he says. "Installing Internet filtering risks giving parents a false sense of security that they need not take responsibility for their children's activities. It's more important that the library along with parents teach our children how to use the Internet responsibly, and there is no filtering device that can substitute for that."
For demonstrating sexual intelligence, and for trusting his constituency's sexual intelligence, we honor Supervisor Mark Leno.
* Speak Out! Teen Group
It started out innocently enough last fall. A few high school kids in Santa Ana, CA started talking about how their friends were getting pregnant. They realized that their health class wasn't helping--all it said about sex was "wait until marriage." Their textbook didn't help either--it said "wait until marriage." The students knew they needed more.
They decided to organize and collect information about teen pregnancy locally, and how it could be reduced. They examined various sex education curricula, and learned how some--like the abstinence-only program in their school district--were far less effective than others. They received encouragement and technical support from the Campfire USA Speak Out! program, where they also learned research methodology and presentation skills.
They started talking to everyone about the issue. Surveying other students, they discovered 60% were already sexually active. No wonder a sex ed program with the single focus "don't do it" wasn't helping--students were already doing it. Further surveys discovered that the curriculum improvements they wanted were supported by 90% of the district's parents and a majority of their health teachers.
When they finally got their chance to address the school board, the teens were ready with statistics, survey results, and emotion. Board members were deeply impressed by the kids' work and their desire for information and guidance relevant to their lives. The Board has established a committee to look into the problem--the "problem" that students want better education. We hope they'll understand their kids' needs as well as the kids do.
Honorable mention goes to Campfire USA, which encouraged the students' civic involvement, and secured funding for it. We also salute the California Wellness Foundation for funding the project. The 15 teens themselves are hereby recognized for spreading sexual intelligence--among their peers and among the adults in charge of their well-being.
* Dr. Stan Dale
Dr. Stan Dale is the founder and director of the Human Awareness Institute, based in San Carlos, CA. HAI offers unique love/intimacy/sexuality workshops which have been attended by more than 50,000 people in Northern California and around the world. Dale and his personally-trained facilitators create an extraordinarily safe environment in which participants experience a blend of structured exercises and perfectly-timed opportunities for honest sharing--which lead to personal breakthroughs around sex, body image, performance anxiety, gender, and trust.
Bringing inspired HAI graduates with him, Dale travels tirelessly around the world meeting with private citizens and government officials. During trips to places including China, the USSR, Iron Curtain Eastern Europe, and Japan, Dale and his delegations unleash a tidal wave of loving energy and creative, culturally-appropriate programs for enhancing trust in sexuality. Dale's recognitions for this include the coveted Mahatma Gandhi Peace Medallion and appointments at universities in China and elsewhere. Dale sows sexual intelligence wherever he goes. The HAI website is www.hai.org.
* Marjorie Heins, J.D.
Marjorie Heins directs the Free Expression Policy Project of NCAC, the National Coalition Against Censorship. Heins founded the project as a miniature thinktank on free expression, providing factual sex-positive research to government and advocacy groups, and legal participation in key court battles.
Adding to her illustrious legal career, Heins' recent accomplishments are impressive:
For her tenacious challenges to sexual fear, and for providing valuable data to help support sexual intelligence in government policy, we salute Marjorie Heins. See her ongoing work at www.NCAC.org/projects/feppintro.html.
- Challenging the government committee investigating strategies for protecting kids from internet pornography--by documenting the lack of data to support the presumed need for such protection;
- Participating in successful Supreme Court challenges to both the Communications Decency Act and the Child Online Protection Act;
- Publishing a summary of 70 studies showing the deficiencies of internet filtering software;
- Writing Not in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth (Hill & Wang, 2001; reviewed in Issue #20), in which her historical and scientific scholarship demolishes the "harm to minors" argument for censorship. The book was recently honored by the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom.
* Dr. Alexander Stulhofer
At the tender age of 40, Sasha Stulhofer is a central figure in the sexual life of Croatia. As Chair of the University of Zagreb's Sociology Department, Stulhofer has led his (overwhelmingly Catholic) fellow Croatians into the modern world of sexual relations. He has done the seminal Croatian study in each of a dozen fields, including teen sexual risk-taking, male and female sexual problems, prostitution, and sexually explicit entertainment. Each year, his research tells Croatians about another part of themselves.
Stulhofer is neither shy nor parochial--he is a model for scholars of emerging European nations. With grants from a variety of countries (and a Fulbright), he is training a new generation of sex researchers throughout south, central, and eastern Europe. Last summer he organized the first Sexualities in Transition conference, attended by scholars from countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Belarus. This historic event examined sex and sexual politics in the postcommunist world, creating a network of scholars that will bear fruit for years. He is already busy creating a 2003 program which will train most of the country's sex therapists and marriage counselors.
We recognize Stulhofer for bringing sexual intelligence to his nation and to a part of the world with a troubled and angry history.
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"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, copyright © Marty Klein, Ph.D. (www.SexEd.org)."