By Dr. Logan Levkoff
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Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series developed by the American Social Health Association (ASHA) in celebration of Sexual Health Month (September) 2012.See the ASHA articles published by RHRC here and visit ASHA online for updates. Cross-posted with permission from the American Social Health Association (ASHA).
Sexual Health. Two words that conjure up images of a gym teacher in front of a blackboard, rows of foil-wrapped condoms, and PSAs about preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Are all those visions included in the world of sexual health? Sure. But there’s a lot more to it. I’ve spent the majority of my life getting people not only to broaden their definition of sexual health, but to understand that sexual health is part of their overall health. It’s hard to have one without the other.
Sexual health is the foundation for who we are and how we operate in our lives. When I heard that my friends at the American Social Health Association were going to devote an entire month to providing fact-based and personal perspectives on sexual health, I was in.
My goal as a sexuality educator has always been to get students to redefine the concept of sexual health. In my lectures, I like to frame it as a larger concept with six pillars: physical, emotional, intellectual and cognitive, relational, political (yes, political), and cultural. If that doesn’t make sense (and it may not right away), consider the following: