The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) have defined a SAR as follows:
…a process-oriented seminar that uses lecture, media, experiential methods, activities and small group discussions. The objective of a SAR is to give participants the opportunity to explore their attitudes, values, feelings and beliefs about sexuality and how these impact their professional interactions. A SAR is not a traditional academic experience to disseminate cognitive information, nor is it psychotherapy directed toward the resolution of personal problems. It is a highly personal, internal exploration that will be different for each participant. Small group discussions have demonstrated efficacy in achieving this self-exploration and awareness and is essential to the SAR process. To meet AASECT standards, a SAR must be a minimum of 10 hours in length. (AASECT, 2006, p. 1)
In addition to AASECT’s definition, contemporary SAR trainings typically incorporate the viewing and analysis of sexually explicit media. This may often include videos portraying naturalistic, undirected patterns of sexual expression. Sitron and Dyson (2009) have explored the efficacy of the SAR for sexuality educators and therapists (sexologists):
The Sexuality Attitude Reassessment (SAR) has been established as a routine training intervention for sexuality professionals. The SAR has been used to train American sexologists and other helping professionals to be sensitive to sexual diversity and the sexual behavior of others. (p. 158)
Sitron and Dyson (2009) cite Stayton (1998)’s work addressing that health professionals are often “placed in a position of being the ‘expert,’ and yet he or she may know less and be more traumatized, ignorant, and secretive than the patient, client or student” (p. 27). In addition, this imbalance may create challenges for sexologist’s ability to deliver culturally competent services without such SAR training.