The 12th annual Sexual Intelligence Awards® honor individuals and organizations who challenge the sexual fear, unrealistic expectations, and government hypocrisy that undermine love, sex, and relationships—and political freedom—today.
Last year’s winners were Melissa Fritchle, International Sex Educator; Doug Braun-Harvey, Drug/Alcohol Treatment Pioneer; Valda Ford, Community Health Activist; Paul Federoff, Forensic Psychiatrist. This year’s winners are:
Dr. Larry Magid, (Sane) Internet Safety Advocate
Larry Magid is an educator, journalist, and public policy analyst in the area of digital technologies and the internet. He is a regular contributor to CBS News, CNet, Forbes, and Huffington Post.
He is also the creator of SafeKids.com, SafeTeens.com, and is co-director of ConnectSafely.org. All the way back in 1994, he wrote “Child Safety on the Information Highway,” and he has been writing, speaking, and testifying about the issue ever since.
Larry has become a recognized insider: he’s a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an advisor to both the Family Online Safety Institute and to Facebook (yes, THE Facebook), and he served on President Obama’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group.
What’s most impressive about Larry’s work, though, is his sanity. While swimming amongst ignorant politicians, cynical prosecutors, hysterical decency crusaders, and frightened parents, his message is consistent: the internet is not a predator-laden swamp, there is no epidemic of cyber-sexual-assault, and there are plenty of tools parents and communities can use to protect young people. Larry develops some of those tools, he creatively uses language to calm the cyber-panic, and he consistently counsels decision-makers to respond to fact, not fear. And his technical expertise puts muscle behind his proposals.
This is a guy bringing Sexual Intelligence to the internet—and its users of all ages.
Dr. Debby Herbenick, Sex Researcher and Author
Remember this name, because in 20 years she will be the best known professional in American sexuality.
Still years away from her professional prime, Debby has already written several books, including Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction and the new Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva (co-authored with Dr. Vanessa Schick). She’s also published an e-book on anal sex.
But we’re just getting started on Debby’s resume. She is currently a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, and is a research scientist at Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion. She’s also one of the lead scientists associated with the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, the largest nationally representative survey of sexual behavior in America.
Debby started the blog MySexProfessor.com five years ago. It now has 8 regular contributors, and is an important source of sexual information for college students.
I’ve heard her speak. She’s fabulous-—witty, relaxed, appropriately demanding, and always ready with facts to support her statements. She’s practically a one-woman crusade for Sexual Intelligence. We’re fortunate she’s on our side.
Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá
This book is a complete shock: it is creatively conceived, well-written, fully-documented, entertaining, relevant to both our bedroom behavior and public policy issues—-and it’s popular. People are buying it! People are even reading it!
Ryan and Jethà question some common assumptions about evolutionary psychology. Instead of conceiving humans as inherently competitive and warlike (like chimps), they conceive of humans as inherently relaxed and cooperative (like bonobos)—-until the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago, with its territoriality and resulting artificial scarcities.
They also demand a recount on some of our cherished beliefs about our ancestors. Monogamy? Not that common. Dyadic marriage? Only one of several common models. These international scholars know their archeology, primatology, anthropology, even their art. If this book weren’t so damn enjoyable, it would be easy to resent its tour de force of world culture.
Ryan and Jetha show that our ancestors lived in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and often, sexual partners. Just as importantly, they explain why: they describe the nature of life before agriculture, and how it inevitably shaped and supported the human capacity for love, cooperation, and generosity-—including sexual generosity.
This is a book that adds to our Sexual Intelligence—-and even shows us its practical relevance.
Sexuality Policy Watch (www.sxpolitics.org)
Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW) is a global forum composed of researchers and activists from across the globe. Co-chaired by sociologists Sonia Correa and Richard Parker, SPW has offices in Rio de Janeiro and New York.
SPW’s goals are to (1) contribute to global policy debates about sexuality, and (2) promote more effective linkages between local, regional and global initiatives about sexuality.
Over the past few decades, sexuality has become the focal point of political controversy, and is now a key domain for social change. Issues such as protecting sexual freedom and enhancing access to sexual health resources are among SPW’s central concerns. And so SPW undertakes and publishes policy analyses with which to empowher NGOs and influence governments.
SPW is particularly focused on initiatives directly relating to reproductive rights, gender, LGBT activism and HIV/AIDS. Because these issues are now interconnected with issues of global democracy, poverty, secularism, and health, SPW’s work cuts across virtually all aspects of society. For example, they have published powerful papers on the implications of the Pope’s visit to Brazil, America’s international foreign aid doctrines, and the manipulative homophobia of political Islam.
They also convene ongoing dialogs about the intersection of sexuality and geopolitics in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. They’re not just bringing Sexual Intelligence to the U.S., but to the entire world.