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Sexploration expanded to two months of events in Bloomington

Sept. 19, 2013

The sixth annual Sexploration at Indiana University features talks by nationally known speakers Helen Fisher and Kand McQueen, free HIV testing and a film screening followed by a Q-and-A with filmmaker and Academy Award nominee David France.

This year, the Sexploration schedule runs for two months on the Bloomington campus, rather than spanning just one week, as in past years.

kand mcqueen

"Sexploration at IU has always been, from the very beginning going back six years, a collaborative endeavor with campus and community groups involved in planning and implementing events," said Kathryn Brown, health and sexuality coordinator at the IU Health Center.

"This year is no different. We are fortunate to have connections that have been nurtured over the years so that people from other departments suggest events to be part of Sexploration at IU.

Patrick Nagel, chair of this year's Sexploration and a health educator at the IU Health Center, said the Sexploration committee distributed a survey to just under 500 students in the spring, asking how long they prefer Sexploration to last. The consensus was that the events should be spread out.

Kand McQueen

McQueen, a nationally known keynote speaker, will give two talks at this year's Sexploration. The first, "GLBT: History and Heroes," will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the Tony A. Mobley Auditorium in Room C100 at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. McQueen will discuss the legal and social discrimination that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people have faced for more than 7,000 years, noting brave men and women who have advocated for GLBT rights.

McQueen will also deliver a second talk, "Breaking the Gender Dichotomy: Why Two Are Definitely Not Enough," at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in Room 100 at Rawles Hall. The lecture, which McQueen has given at IU while studying gender identity as a doctoral student, will argue that Western society holds a strict gender dichotomy. As an IU student, McQueen studied educational psychology, with a focus in inquiry methodology and a general interest in gender identity.

"I hope students can walk away from McQueen's talk knowing there is a middle ground in sexuality," Nagel said. "McQueen does a great job at sharing the GLBT history while adding a very sensible realness to the whole issue."

McQueen, who teaches statistics at Indiana State University, said the "Gender Dichotomy" lecture includes a personal story as well.

"This presentation is part academic and partly looks at the issues of people who transcend the strict male/female dichotomy that we currently assume," McQueen said.

Helen Fisher

Fisher, a biological anthropologist, is research professor and member of the Center for Human Evolution Studies at Rutgers University. 

helen fisher

Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor to the Internet dating site Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com, will present a talk titled "Lust, Romance, Attachment: The Drive to Love and Who We Choose" on Oct. 1 at Whittenberger Auditorium. 

She has conducted extensive research and written five books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how personality type shapes attractions, among them "Anatomy of Love" and "Why We Love."

She is chief scientific advisor to the Internet dating site Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com that pairs people on dates using personality information that helps participants "get to know the person behind the profile."

Fisher is also known for her popular Ted Talks, among them "Why we love, why we cheat".

Fisher will give the talk "Lust, Romance, Attachment: The Drive to Love and Who We Choose" at 7 p.m. Oct. 1, at Whittenberger Auditorium. 

Her talk will cover the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain, and how personality types shape how people find mates.

Additional highlights of Sexploration activities

  • 41st Annual Health Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 9 in Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union. The health fair will offer hearing and vision screenings, free condoms and free, healthful snacks.
  • "American Ecstasy: A Photographic Look Behind the Scenes of the Golden Age of Porn," 6 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Fine Arts Auditorium at IU’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. New York City-based photographer Barbara Nitke, who has challenged the Supreme Court's definition of obscenity, will give a lecture in conjunction with the "Past/Present" exhibit at the Kinsey Institute. Nitke’s work has focused on sexual communities such as BDSM practices and adult film actors on set.
  • Free HIV testing, offered by Positive Link, a program of IU Health Bloomington, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Hoosier Room at the Indiana Memorial Union. All testing is quick and confidential.
  • "The Meaning of Matthew," 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union. On Oct. 12, 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime. Judy Shepard, author of "The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed," will give a presentation and Q-and-A followed by a book signing.
  • "How to Survive a Plague," 7 p.m. Nov. 20 in Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union. Documentary screening and Q-and-A with filmmaker and academy award nominee David France. The documentary follows the story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and the Treatment Action Group -- that turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable coalition.
Sponsors for Sexploration at IU include the IU Health Center and Health and Wellness Education; Themester at IU; the Kinsey Institute; IU Culture of Care; GLBT Student Support Services; Positive Link, a program of IU Health Bloomington; Planned Parenthood; BloomingOUT WFHB Radio; and RAISE at IU, Raising Awareness of Interactions in Sexual Encounters.

For a detailed schedule, please visit the Sexploration Facebook page.

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