Development of Sexual Identity, Barriers to Intimacy, and the Promotion of Sexual Health

Professor Eli Coleman Ph.D

There are three basic ingredients of an individual's sexual health: the development of their identity, their capacity for intimacy, and an enviornment which promotes sexual health. Barriers to identity and intimacy can come from family intimacy dysfunction and unhealthy cultural environments. Self identity and self esteem are essential ingredients for the capacity of intimacy. The self is formed in the context of interpersonal relationships and the cultural milieu. The failure to develop a postive identity and capacity to intimacy leads to identity and intimacy dysfunction. Lack of self esteem,sexual identity confusion and dysphoria, sexual dysfunctions and disorders, interpersonal violence are often symptoms of identity and intimacy function.

 

Conflict of Interest: None disclosed
Financial Support/Funding: None disclosed
Recorded: Sydney, Australia, April 2007

Eli Coleman
Eli Coleman
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Professor Eli Coleman Ph.D

Professor and Director of the Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.  Dr Coleman is the author of numerous articles and books on compulsive sexual behavior, sexual offenders, sexual orientation, gender dysphoria, chemical dependency and family intimacy and on the psychological and pharmacological treatment of a variety of sexual dysfunctions and disorders.  Professor Coleman is the founding and current editor of the International Journal of Sexual Health and the International Journal of Transgenderism.  He is one of the past-presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, and the World Association for Sexual Health.  
Eli Colemen has been a frequent technical consultant on sexual health issues to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (the regional office of WHO).  He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the US Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Award for his role as senior scientist on Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior, released in 2001.  He was given the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the Alfred E. Kinsey Award by the Midcontinent Region of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality in 2001.  In April, 2007, he was awarded the Gold Medal for his lifetime contributions to the field of sexual health by the World Association for Sexual Health.  In May of 2007, he was appointed the first endowed Chair in Sexual Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

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WAS - World Association fro Sexual HealthSociety of Australian SexologiestsAustralian Centre for Sexual HealthashnAOFSCSEPI - Council of Sex Education and Parenthood (International)SASSM