The mission of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is to provide a graduate course of study for those persons considering and preparing for careers in human sexuality or already working in the field and in so doing, to make a significant contribution to the quality of professional work in the field. The mission requires the maintenance of archives, resource centers and research facilities dealing with primary sexological and erotological material not available elsewhere and a commitment to the highest scientific, academic and ethical standards by administrators, faculty and students.
The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality was formally incorporated as a private non-sectarian graduate school on June 8, 1976. On August 13, 1976, the State of California qualified the Institute to grant graduate degrees in the field of human sexuality. The first class of students began work on October 1, 1976. About one year later, following evaluation by a committee on postsecondary educational standards appointed by the State of California, the Institute received approval of the following degrees by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the California State Department of Education under California Education Code Section 94310(b): Master of Human Sexuality (M.H.S.), Doctor of Arts in Human Sexuality (D.A.), Doctor of Human Sexuality (D.H.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). In June 1981, after an on-site visit, the degrees were reapproved, and the Doctor of Arts degree was changed to a Doctor of Education in Human Sexuality (Ed.D.) degree. In 2002, the Institute received approval for the Master of Public Health in Human Sexuality (M.P.H.) degree.
For an understanding of the Institute, it is important to look at its early beginnings and development.
In 1962, the United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the United Church of Christ, the United Presbyterian Church, the American Baptist Church and the Southern Presbyterian Church, commissioned a study of the nature and needs of persons in early adulthood. Four cities were chosen to field the study, and The Rev. Ted Mcllvenna, a United Methodist minister with considerable social research background, was chosen to direct the San Francisco arm of the project. The issue of sexual identity, especially homosexuality, was a primary area of the project's research. The main conclusion of the findings was that one cannot understand homosexuality without understanding human sexuality. Further consultations were held at the Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Indiana; at the headquarters of the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; at the National Institutes of Mental Health in Washington, D.C.; and in London, England, with representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Culture, World Council of Churches, the British Department of Health, a representative from the Vatican, a Bishop of the Church of England, a representative of the French Ministry of Health and five delegates from the United States. At the London meeting, it was decided that persons in the helping professions were woefully lacking in knowledge about human sexuality and that a center specifically designed for training professionals should be initiated.
In the spring of 1967, a meeting was held at the Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, which included representa-tives from the original sponsoring church bodies, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Glide Foundation (an operating foundation) and four other funding foundations. It was concluded that the Glide Foundation in San Francisco would be the home of the National Sex Forum (NSF). The Forum would have as its main tasks the study of what helping professionals needed to know about human sexuality and the development of effective educational methodologies and design of innovative training materials. The National Sex Forum began officially in October 1968, as part of the Glide Urban Center.
By the end of the first year, it was obvious that most professionals needed specific training in human sexuality, that there was a lack of educational material and that the available information had not been organized in any specific way. In October 1969, a team of twelve persons committed themselves to the formal study of sexology. Each of these persons brought to this study a unique background and each chose a specialty in addition to general sexological study. This group consisted of two clergy, three physicians, three therapists, one child psychologist and three sex educators. Of this group, nine persons finished their committed study by 1974, and six of these nine became the core faculty of the Institute. In 1975, the political and economic pressures of the church relationship became so severe that NSF sponsorship was transferred to the Exodus Trust, a California nonprofit trust which has as its sole and exclusive purpose to perform educational, scientific and literary functions relating to sexual, emotional, mental and physical health.
The Forum is perhaps best known for developing the Sexual Attitude Restructuring (SAR) Process, a revolutionary method for educating adults about what people do sexually and how they feel about it. Although the SAR Process has been misunderstood and misused by untrained imitators, it has proven very effective when used by competent sexologists. The Forum also is the largest supplier of professional educational material dealing specifically with human sexual behavior. These films, slides, audio and videotapes are used by more than 8,000 professionals and institutions throughout the world.
It is important to mention that during the years from 1969 to 1973, the National Sex Forum and the sexological study team worked closely with the University of Minnesota Medical School Program in Human Sexuality, directed by Richard Chilgren, M.D., and the University of California Medical School Program in Human Sexuality, directed by Herbert Vandervoort, M.D. By the beginning of 1974, it became obvious to the NSF staff and the sexological study team, that there needed to be an interdisciplinary institute for the education and training of sexologists. In order to ensure academic freedom, it was imperative that the proposed institute be free-standing and not under the control of an outside board of directors.
Four tasks were assigned to the sexological study team. Ted Mcllvenna was assigned the task of moving the National Sex Forum and the "future" Institute into a new structure. Herb Vandervoort was given the task of the academic organization of work completed by the sexological study team. Laird Sutton was assigned to build the graphic resource library, and Marguerite Rubenstein, Loretta Haroian and Phyllis Lyon accepted the challenge of defining the professional training requirements in the emerging field of sexology. All of these tasks were completed and became the foundation upon which the Institute was built. The planning group then identified the steps of the second phase: a facility, which was acquired; a library, which was developed; and a faculty, which was expanded to include the Dean of American Sexologists, Wardell B. Pomeroy, Ph.D., and a leading sexological historian, Erwin Haeberle, Ph.D., as resident faculty. In addition, the Rev. Lewis E. Durham, former head of the Glide Foundation and expert on alternate lifestyles, became the Dean of Students. The Institute also contracted for the part-time services of other leading experts.
The gathering of expertise in dispersion was the final task of the second phase. Three times each year, the Institute invites ten experts who have contributed to the emerging field of sexology. These experts are asked to lecture and document on videotape their contribution. These lectures are now the best oral history of contemporary sexology available. In addition, another 8,000 hours of materials have been gathered to supplement the basic core curriculum. The last developmental task was to seek out and find the structure and a board that could actively support and protect the objectives of the Institute. The structure that was created had to withstand the changes of the political climate and maintain absolute academic freedom and independence.
1. The Institute is dedicated to a determined and objective evaluation of its various functions by inside and outside evaluators.
2. The Institute is dedicated to the recruitment and screening of serious and capable persons who have expertise to share or the desire to learn about academic sexology.
3. The Institute is dedicated to provide a graduate course of study leading to two masters and three doctoral degrees in human sexuality that are on the same or higher level of graduate degrees in other fields.
4. The Institute is dedicated to provide students with a full range of research methodologies and skills so that they are prepared to work in their own field as well as work with other persons in allied fields who are working in sexological problem solving.
5. The Institute is dedicated to help students learn the how, why and where sexology impacts on the sexological and the non-sexological aspects of people's lives in their own and other cultures.
6. The Institute is dedicated to help students learn the how, why and where sexology impacts in the fields of history, law, anthropology, sociology, education, psychology, art and the various erotological expressions in the marketplace.
7. The Institute is dedicated to serve a worldwide community of school researchers, students, politicians, and artists by providing a center of expertise which will help them develop the several skills and strategy needed in the struggle to alleviate sexual ignorance, mindless sexual intolerance, sexual intolerance religiously or politically reinforced, political and academic hypocrisy and the remedial sexological expertise that will lead to intellectual honesty and human dignity.
8. The Institute is dedicated to provide the opportunity for all degree students to participate in a thirty-year Basic Research Project. It provides the basic behavioral information about what people are doing sexually and an opportunity for each Institute student to become the leading expert on the sex profiles of an affinity group of people. It also helps the student learn those research skills s/he will need in preparing a graduate thesis, project or dissertation.
9. The Institute is dedicated to provide each student an opportunity to build a portfolio-file that can be constantly evaluated by the faculty and the student. All work done in the field of human sexuality by a student must be kept in his/her file and duly evaluated by a faculty member including all seminars, workshops, reading, viewing, writing, teaching, participating and creating. In addition, students are required to provide book reports, annotated bibliographies, reports of lectures on video, reports on films viewed, practicum reports, a basic research project, reports on all Pomeroy Lecture Series and finally, a written comprehensive exam before admittance to the dissertation or project phase of their study. In addition, there must be unanimous approval of the project or dissertation proposal by all committee members.
10. The Institute is dedicated to provide students the opportunity to learn about and use the latest basic informa-tional management technologies. From the stance of expertise and not simply advocacy, students are provided the frameworks and methods to evaluate the political, cultural and economic determinism related to sexual issues that are used by special interest groups to control and manipulate people for other than humanistic reasons. By having primary material, and historical and current editorial comment, the actual struggle between free expression and social responsibility can be seen.
11. The Institute is dedicated to the furtherance of sexual health for all people. Sexual health care has always been available for the rich, famous, heroes of entertainment and the powerful in most societies. Strategies must be examined that provide sexual health care benefits, which include preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative services for all. Since sexology is a small field, it is obvious that much primary care and service must be provided through allied health care providers and institutions. Students must learn the strategies of sharing the mission of the Institute with others.
12. The Institute is dedicated to the belief that sexual rights are basic human rights and it is appropriate to help students understand that many people have been hurt, falsely imprisoned, harassed and persecuted because of laws and misinformation about the role and place of sexuality and its many expressions by individuals in our society. The sexual artifacts created in the last two hundred years are mostly gone or hidden. Not a single university library in the United States has an acceptable erotology library for scholarly research except the Institute. Helping the criminal justice system to be more humane and responsible and at the same time providing the understanding and skill necessary to bring about restoration, reconciliation and sexual health for victims and offenders is part of specialized sexological education.