Challenging the Medicalization of Sex




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Report of the Second New View Conference July 9-10, 2005

Women and the New Sexual Politics: Profits vs. Pleasures

Le Nouvel Hotel, Montreal , Quebec , Canada

Our second conference was attended by about 200 participants from academic, activist, and clinical domains, including many students, exhibitors, and journalists from the U.S. Canada, and elsewhere. This conference went from a Friday night reception to Sunday afternoon, including lectures, workshops, meals, discussions, exhibits and entertainment.

Plenary titles were:

  • For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women, by author and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Vagina Veritas: Medical Myths and Mismanaging Women’s Sexuality, by Susan Bennett, internal medicine physician at Harvard
  • Viagra Down Under: Researching the New Zealand Experience, by New Zealand gender studies professor Annie Potts
  • Sex and the Senior Woman, by sociologist Meika Loe
  • The Brave New World of Androgenic Therapies, by historian John Hoberman
  • Values and the Rhetoric of Pleasure, by Canadian professor Judy Z. Segal
  • Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women, by Jean Kilbourne, author and expert on gender issues in advertising
  • The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, by medical investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer
  • Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A Vision for Our Youth, by Barbara Huberman, Director of Education at Advocates for Youth
  • Miss Lonelyhearts Writes a Prescription: Doctors, Pharmaceutical Companies and the Advice Industry, by physician and bioethicist Carl Elliott
  • Start Spreading the New View, by Campaign founder Leonore Tiefer

Twelve breakout sessions offered topics such as:

  • The medicalization of women’s in/fertility
  • Using the New View approach to understand and treat child sexual abuse
  • The effects of conservative political attacks on sex research
  • Medicalization and the media
  • Unifying the New View for men and women
  • Queering the New View
  • Vulvar pain
  • Internet conversations about sex
  • Older women and sexual pleasure
  • Attachment Theory and women's sexualities
  • Deconstructing dominant discourses

"Side Effects," a full-length motion picture that takes a satirical look at the pharmaceutical was premiered by writer-director Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau.

The 2005 conference was co-sponsored by Association of Family Life Educators of Quebed, Canadian Women's Health Network, Goofyfoot Press, McGill Center for Research and Teaching on Women, Florida Marking Products, Menopause Counseling Center of Washington, DC, National Women's Health Network, OurBodies Ourselves collective, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Canadian Psychological Association Section on Women & Psychology, Sexual Health Network, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, American Psychological Association Section on Women, Womanspirit Press and Women's Therapy Centre Institute.

Many generous friends also made contributions towards the conference.

We are grateful to them all.

To see photos from the 2005 conference, click here

First Conference, 2002 | top.