The 13th Annual Sexual Intelligence Awards® honor individuals and organizations who challenge the sexual fear, unrealistic expectations, and government hypocrisy that undermine love, sex, & relationships—and political freedom—today.
Last year’s winners were Dr. Larry Magid, Internet Child Safety Advocate; Dr. Debby Herbenick, Sex Researcher and Author; best-seller Sex At Dawn, by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá; and the global forum Sexuality Policy Watch.
This year’s winners are:
Darrel Ray, Fundamentalist-Turned-Atheist Sex Educator
A psychologist for over 30 years, Dr. Darrel W. Ray is the author of four books including The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture and Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.
Ray grew up in a highly religious Kansas family—a preacher grandpa, preacher cousins, and parents who later became missionaries. Sexual repression and its consequences were a key reason that Ray saw the light of atheism. Ever since, he’s been helping others overcome the oppressive effects of religion.
Recognizing the tremendous difficulties many people have in escaping their religious families, communities, and even livelihoods, Ray founded Recovering From Religion, which now has meetings across the U.S.
Ray recently founded the Secular Therapist Project, which pairs secular mental health professionals with adults needing their services. In many communities, secular therapists or would-be patients (or both) are in the closet, often unaware of the others’ existence. This growing registry, which charges no fees, even helps clergy who wish to talk with someone about leaving their faith or profession. Therapists are encouraged to register with the project here—leveraging Darrel Ray’s Sexual Intelligence across the country.
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
FIRE is devoted to protecting the rights of college and high school students to express themselves on and off campus. This is critical, says Executive Director Greg Lukianoff, because if students learn that free expression is dangerous or prohibited, they won’t notice—or care—when their free speech rights are later limited as adults. In his new book Unlearning Liberty, Lukianoff persuasively argues that the polarization of today’s politics is partly due to colleges actively suppressing robust intellectual debate—under the guise that someone’s feelings might get hurt.
FIRE promotes Sexual Intelligence most effectively when it is publicizing or challenging vague, undemocratic speech and behavior codes at colleges across the country. Such codes are a dangerous attempt to control adults’ consensual dating behavior, and the expression of ideas about gender, sexual orientation, and sexual activity.
Examples of policies FIRE has challenged or publicized:
* Pasadena City College’s last-minute intervention to bar the public from a school event featuring a porn actor;
* UCSB’s student government’s demand that school officials pressure Facebook to take down two student Facebook pages describing the school’s sexual culture;
* University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill disciplining a student for violating its speech code for publicly criticizing the university’s handling of her allegations that a fellow student raped her.
* SUNY Brockport’s campus policy listed the following as examples of punishable “harassment”: “calling someone an ‘old bag'”; “jokes making fun of any protected group”; and even merely “discussing sexual activities.”
Discourse on American campuses is now being restricted to that which the most sensitive or least tolerant student can bear. FIRE is working hard to fix that.
The Scarleteen website has too many colors, too many fonts, bad puns, and references to social media I’ve never heard of. So it’s perfect for its audience—teens and early ’20s who want sexual information.
Since 2006 Scarleteen’s site has received a billion hits. What do visitors get?
* Hundreds of articles, factsheets, and Q/A on sexual health and relationships. The content is written by adults and teens/young people.
* Interactive message boards, a text/SMS service, and an active presence on Facebook and Twitter—written by staff, volunteers, and young adult users.
* Referrals to other services such as STI testing, contraception, pre-natal and abortion care, and crisis care.
Since Corinna founded it in 1998, Scarleteen has provided young people with accurate information along with social justice activism and a fierce commitment to a diversity-oriented, non-pathology model of sexuality. The U.S. has 1.5 million home-schooled students and 6 million high school-age youth no longer in school. Scarleteen is a crucial part of their sex education.
We are proud to join organizations such as UNICEF, Planned Parenthood, and The Boston Women’s Health Collective in recognizing Scarleteen and Heather Corinna for raising the Sexual Intelligence of the world’s young people.
Australian Sex Party
Along with natural beauty and great weather, the Australian Sex Party is one of Australia’s treasures. While a political party called The American Sex Party would have trouble being taken seriously, consider if you’d vote for a party whose platform included:
* an end to internet censorship and an increase in internet privacy;
* government investigation of child sex abuse in religious institutions;
* ending tax exemptions for religious institutions;
* decriminalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill;
* legal protections for sex workers;
* legal protections for those engaged in consensual S/M.
The Sex Party is expertly guided by their primary candidate, Fiona Patten. This tireless businesswoman has gathered enough libertarians, progressives, business owners, and sexual enthusiasts to make ASP the country’s most important minor party. Whether or not Patten wins the next election, her public statements and the Party’s position papers are raising her country’s level of Sexual Intelligence.