The importance of sexuality education is crucial given the role that race, sexual orientation, sex, and gender play in health inequities in the United States. The politics involved in sexual and reproductive rights continue to disproportionately impact women, nonbinary, and gender expansive individuals. According to the Guttmacher Institute and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, sexuality education and information on HIV are only mandated in Washington D.C. and 22 states. As we learned about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, states across the country began taking action to prohibit and restrict access to abortion care. Nearly 60% of women aged 13–44 live in a state with hostile or extremely hostile abortion policies. This workshop will discuss how the results of the midterm election in November 2021 has implications for further restrictions and an impact on the sexual, reproductive, and pleasure equity. Participants will be asked to think critically about their own thoughts, beliefs, and workplace contributions (or practices) that enhance or restrict sexual and reproductive health equity.Learning Objectives
By the end of the session learners will be able to:
Presenter Bio Dr. Ashley Townes is a sexuality educator and researcher based in Atlanta, GA. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Master of Public Health in Community Education degrees from the University of Cincinnati. She later earned a Ph.D in Health Behavior and Epidemiology from Indiana University-Bloomington.
Dr. Townes has 15 years of experience providing sexuality education in a variety of academic and public health entities. She has worked as an Epidemiologist and currently serves in a posdoctoral research role. Her research primarily focuses on Black women’s sexual experiences and their access to sexuality information and health services.
In 2018, she received grant funding from the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health (based in Cincinnati) to translate sexual health research data into educational materials, and currently contributes to the LiveAlive Wellness Blog for Pure Romance. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, Madame Noire, Woman’s Day, MindBodyGreen, MTV News, and a variety of podcasts. Dr. Townes serves on the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Sexuality Education, has been apart of 15 academic papers, and has presented in both domestic and international settings.
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