Though more than half a century has passed since famed sex researchers William Masters, MD, and Virginia Johnson began their pioneering research on sexuality and sexual dysfunction, the field of sexology as a viable career path is a relatively new concept. With that said, it’s not the easiest to figure out an ideal path to get to where you want to be professionally — whether that be as a clinical sex therapist, a sex educator, a public health specialist with a concentration in human sexuality or someone with a career in sex tech.
This is where getting involved with an organization can come in handy — from networking, to the feel-good aspect of volunteering, to developing lasting personal and professional relationships. Not only do professional organizations offer career development and connections with others in your field and enhance your business profile, but it shows your future clients, customers, and employers that you’ve gone the extra mile to solidify yourself as an ambassador in your field.
But how do you decide which organizations are right for you? That depends on how your involvement as an organization member helps fulfill your own professional development and what kind of services you eventually want to offer as a professional.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you interested in connecting with professionals and like-minded people?
Do you need a mentor?
Do you want to explore the wide range of career possibilities in the field of sexuality?
Are you looking for educational opportunities, certifications and seminars that will further your industry knowledge as a sexuality professional?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to get involved with one (or more) or the following sexuality-based organizations:
AASECT members include physicians, nurses, social workers, and other allied health professionals. Their common interest is in promoting understanding of human sexuality and healthy sexual behavior.
Things that make AASECT stand out:
- Annual conference hosted by the organization
- Certification programs to become an AASECT certified sex educator, counselor and/or therapist
ASHA specializes in communications outreach to the public, patients, press, providers, and policy makers by developing and delivering sensitive health information. Public and college health clinics across the United States order ASHA’s educational pamphlets and books to give to clients and students.
Things that make ASHA stand out:
CPS is a 501c3 non-profit educational and research unincorporated association. Their mission is to address social issues through sex positive research and education.
Things that make CPS stand out:
The Institute’s mission is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction.
Things that make the Kinsey Institute stand out:
- Ph.D. minor in Human Sexuality through Indiana University
- Annual Human Sexuality Intensive course
- Kinsey Institute Book Club
SexTech School helps members launch and accelerate their career in sextech by learning from the world’s leading experts and joining 2-hour live workshops every week with a topic expert, including a Q&A.
Things that make the Sextech School stand out:
- Student benefits program with access to job listings, news, and perks on sexual wellness products
- Lifetime access to a private community of Sextech School members on Slack
SHA promotes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to sexuality with the goal of fostering cooperation and dialogue among diverse professionals. SHA facilitates communication among sexual health providers through our signature workshops and conferences, special events, and social media.
Things that make SHA stand out:
SIECUS develops, collects, and disseminates information, and promotes comprehensive education about sexuality. The site Includes sections for policy makers and advocates, for religious institutions, and for parents and older adults.
Things that make SIECUS stand out:
- Updated Sex Ed State Law & Policy Chart online
SSSS’ mission is to promote funding for conducting scholarly, scientific research related activities to further the understanding of all aspects of sexuality.
Things that make SSSS stand out:
- Annual conference hosted by the organization
- The official academic journal of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality
- Special interest groups (SIGs) for various topics within human sexuality
SSTAR is composed of a range of professionals who have clinical or research interests in human sexuality. SSTAR aims to facilitate communications among clinicians who treat problems of sexual identity, sexual function, and reproductive life.
Things that make SSTAR stand out:
- Annual conference hosted by organization