May 2, 2013
New online, accredited graduate courses offer teachers and other professionals credits for a Bullying Prevention and Diversity Certificate Program. The five courses offer three credits for an affordable $720 per course (plus a rebate; see below). Better still, you can take the classes on your schedule!
Take the course(s) that interest you, or register for the entire series to earn a certificate in Bullying Prevention & Diversity. Developed by my friend and colleague David M. Hall in association with Delaware Valley College, the courses include:
- Bullying Prevention in Schools
- Bullying and Social Networking
- Bystanders and Bullying Prevention
- Diversity in Schools
- The LGBT Inclusive School
All of the courses are taught by experts in their disciplines, and they designed their courses under the supervision of David M. Hall, who does international academic and corporate consulting in these areas. The courses include streaming video, slides, professor contact, resources, and more.
Receive a $25 rebate on each course by using the promo code mdavis1000 when you register.
April 22, 2013
When I speak to people with cancer, I listen to their sexuality concerns, ask what kind of help they seek, and offer several solutions with which they can experiment. After reading an article in the LA Times by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman (April 7, 2013), I have another tool to offer them.
Silk, a clinical psychologist, developed a model she refers to as the Ring Theory that illustrates communication boundaries that can be useful to people dealing with cancer or other types of crises. She came up the the model after her own breast cancer diagnosis, which brought up a multitude of self-absorbed comments from friends and acquaintances. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma… Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma [e.g., a partner or husband]. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan’s patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.
This model can be used regardless of the type of crisis someone must deal with. Personal bankruptcy? Check. Infertility? Check. Sick child? Check. Maybe we should all wear badges that say “What’s Your Place in my Kvetching Order?” as a do-no-harm reminder when we speak to people in crisis.
April 21, 2013
When I was a kid, I was in Camp Fire and spent many happy years learning skills in camping, outdoor cooking, knot tying, crafts, and group projects. Two of my now-adult daughters were in Girl Scouts for a few years, while their older sister enjoyed Model United Nations throughout high school and college. No one asked about their sexual orientation, and we never inquired about their adult leaders’ sexual orientation. These organizations have the good sense to realize that sexual orientation has nothing to do with one’s character, values, or ability to participate in or lead activities.
There is only one instance in which sexual orientation is relevant, and that is when being forced to hide a non-heterosexual orientation conflicts with the organization’s expectation that participants and leaders be honest and to be their best selves. You can’t be honest when you have to hide who you are. And you can’t be your best self when people drum into you their truth, which is that their is something about you that is unacceptable.
Which brings me to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), an organization that has a real problem with non-heterosexuals. Boys can’t be scouts if they disclose that they are gay; adult leaders cannot lead if they disclose that they are gay or lesbian. This is a shame because scouting has been a tremendous experience for countless boys and young men, as well as their adult leaders. It builds skills, fosters personal and group responsibility, and it strengthens friendships.
I understand why the Scouts would prefer that this issue simply go away, but that’s not going to happen. The fight for gay and lesbian rights is arguably the civil rights battle of our times. Moreover, the Boy Scouts is running a grave risk of permanently damaging its reputation not only with PR blunders but by being “on the wrong side of history.” — Howard Bragman
The many good things about scouting are being over-shadowed by the fact that BSA has historically and very publicly prohibited gay scouts and leaders. It was only after much pressure that BSA took a circuitous route to an upcoming vote on whether to permit gay scouts while continuing to ban gay and lesbian adult leaders.
Before we cheer small victories, let’s remember that those gay boys and teens will always be second-class scouts. In order to disclose their orientation, they must be brave enough to do so within an organization that says, “We’ll let you in if we have to, but your kind isn’t welcome once you grow up.” The vote will also perpetuate the message to heterosexual boys that their orientation is the best, i.e., that it is normal, and being gay is abnormal and wrong. That message can have disastrous results.
I found two interesting articles about the issue this morning, and I invite you to read them. The first article is from the New York Times. The second is by Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, who speaks to the mess the BSA made of this who issue from a communications standpoint. Read Bragman’s entire piece here.
Social, educational, and skill-building organizations can help guide young people through both good times and bad. These groups have an opportunity to build the skills needed to be productive, happy, healthy and responsible adults. If you’re a parent, please carefully consider the organizations that your children join, and the messages your children will get about respect for others, the intrinsic value of all people, and how to appreciate diversity.
April 6, 2013
Join a discussion on gynecological cancer and sexuality from 6:30-8 p.m., Monday, April 8, 2013 in the Brady Shinn Board Room (Level B) of Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ. Admission is free; all women are welcome.
I’ll be presenting with Yana Goldberg, MD, Radiation Oncologist, and Nana Tchabo, MD, Gynecological Oncologist. They will discuss the medical effects of cancer on the body and on sexuality. I will discuss topics ranging from the emotional impact of early menopause; options when familiar sexual activities are no longer enjoyable; giving yourself permission to set new boundaries; and options for vaginal dilation, lubrication, and pleasure.
If you cannot attend but need help adapting to changes in your sex life, please contact me. If I can’t help, I’ll be glad to make a referral to another trusted professional.
December 27, 2012
In early December, I was honored to participate in the first Summit on Medical Education in Sexual Health, which brought together experts in medical education, sexual health, and sexuality education to address physicians’ inability to adequately provide sexual healthcare and education to patients.
The two-day event included a work session during which participants developed guidelines for medical education curriculum in sexual health. These guidelines will be distributed to medical schools in the US and Canada. Anita P. Hoffer and I represented the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University and succeeded in getting education in sexuality and aging included in the guidelines.
Forty two experts from the US and Canada participated in the summit, which was hosted by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Program in Human Sexuality. I was very pleased to meet Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the 15th US Surgeon General, who is a passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education. Dr. David Satcher, the 16th US Surgeon General, also participated in the summit.
In addition to developing the guidelines, participants were encouraged to continue to work on projects that will further the summit’s goals. For my part, I am co-authoring an article with the American Medical Student Association’s coordinators of the Sexual Health Scholars Program (SHPS), which relies on Widener University graduate students as peer educators. As a grad student, I was a SHSP small group facilitator; as a professional, I have presented large-group lectures on the breadth of sexuality, physician-patient communication abut sexuality, and sexuality and aging.