Q&A: How Do I Become A Sexologist?

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QUESTION: My goal is to become a sexologist/relationship expert and I was wondering what schools and classes you can recommend.

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The school and coursework you choose will depend on the type of work you want to pursue.

It depends what you’d like to do with your career. You said that you’d like to become an expert, but I’m not sure what you mean by that.

Think About What You’d Like To Do

When you see yourself working in the area of sex and relationships, do you see yourself working as a sex or couples therapist, as a sexual health educator, a sex researcher, an advice columnist, or something else?

There are many different possible pathways to take. Check out the website of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists to learn more about those career possibilities.

You might also want to check out the website for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for more information about careers in couples therapy.

In addition, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality has a great deal to offer in terms of examples of sex research. On their website you can learn more about educational and training opportunities, sexuality organizations, and scientific journals that focus on sex research.

Education

The school and coursework you choose will depend on the type of work you want to pursue. Here at Indiana University, there are faculty in a number of departments who focus on sexuality in some aspect of their work.

These departments include public health, biology, journalism, psychology, anthropology, education, sociology, telecommunications, and many more. If you’re currently studying at a university, you might want to explore your university’s website to get a sense of what faculty in different departments are teaching or interested in in terms of their research.

Finally, you might want to check out the book “Personal Stories of How I Got Into Sex: Leading Researchers, Sex Therapists, Educators, Prostitutes, Sex Toy Designers, Sex Surrogates, Transsexuals, Criminologists, Clergy, and More.”

As I mentioned, there are many diverse pathways that people take to find their careers and you may find some of these stories informative or inspiring. More resources are available on our website and also on The Kinsey Institute’s website.

Next Question: Anti-Depressants, Sexual Side Effects, & Ability To Orgasm

I’m being treated for depression but I’m worried that the antidepressant may ruin my sex life. Is it true that medications can keep you from having orgasms?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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