Back in 1995, during the organization efforts for the XIII World Association for Sexology (WAS) World Congress held in Valencia, Spain, the idea put forward by the congress hosts- Juan Jose Borras and Maria Perez Conchillo, and Ruben Hernandez Serrano- then President of WAS, to dedicate the Congress to the links between human sexuality and human rights resulted in the Valencia Declaration of Sexual Rights that two years later was the basis for the All of us are sexual human beings from conception to death. Humans are also spiritual being in that one often looks for meaning to life and experience outside of oneself, including sexual questions. Who am I sexually? What does it mean to be sexual? What is my sexuality all about? Why do I feel this way sexually? What is the meaning of my sexual experience? Almost all of us are also born into some type of religious community. What does one’s religious upbringing or community teach about sexuality?
Seldom are sexuality, spirituality and religion in harmony with one another. Spirituality may or may not be a part of one’s vocabulary and may or may not be considered religious. Sexual science is often suspicious of religion; religionists often do not trust sexual science, especially in regards to sexual justice issues as outlined in the WAS Declaration on Universal Sexual Rights. One’s search for meaning about their sexuality is often not helped by their religious teachings and community.Declaration of Sexual Rights.
My career, as an ordained clergy, psychologist, and sexologist has been to reconcile religious belief systems with current scientific knowledge about sexuality and sexual justice issues. This presentation will emphasize the importance of religious systems in promoting sexual health and responsible sexual behavior with the need for sexual science to bring understanding about sexual behavior and sexual justice to enlighten those religious systems. Universal sexual rights and universal moral values are more deeply connected than are the world religions and the field of sexology.
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