Campus: San Francisco State University -- February 6, 2004
New center on gender and sexuality research opens
at San Francisco State
SFSU will break new ground in social science research on human sexuality
and make findings accessible to a wide audience with the recent opening
of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality (CRGS), part of the
University's pioneering human sexuality studies program.
Funded by the Ford Foundation, the center becomes the first urban research
center in the country dedicated solely to social science research on
"Sexuality does not develop in a vacuum and is about much more
than one's body and sexual acts," said Deborah Tolman, founder
of the CRGS and professor of human sexuality studies. "Our research
on sexuality will give people the latest and most accurate information
on sexuality so they can make choices that are better for themselves
and better for society."
Tolman, a distinguished researcher on adolescent sexuality, was a senior
research scientist and associate director at the Center for Research
on Women at Wellesley College before joining the SFSU faculty in last
year. Her latest book, "Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk
About Sexuality" published by Harvard University Press late last
year, received the 2003 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association
for Women in Psychology.
Tolman said it was important that the center be located at SFSU. "The
mission of San Francisco State University is to meet the challenges
of social justice," she said. "It's a perfect home for the
Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality."
Research projects underway at CRGS include an examination of television
consumption and adolescent sexual activity, a study titled "Beyond
Pregnancy and AIDS: Final Development of a New Conception of Adolescent
Sexual Health," and other research initiatives that focus on racism
in the gay male community, intimate partner violence and fieldwork-based
research on sexuality education and social inequalities.
Other SFSU researchers working with Tolman include Jessica Fields, assistant
professor of sociology and an expert on sexuality education; Niels Teunis,
assistant professor of anthropology and an authority on racism in the
gay male community; and Rita Melendez, who joins the faculty in the
human sexuality studies program in fall 2005 and has done work on HIV
issues and gender.
The new center will work in tandem with SFSU's National Sexuality Resource
Center (NSRC) to expand and disseminate its research primarily through
the NSRC's Web site. http://nsrc.sfsu.edu
Gilbert Herdt, director of both the NSRC and the human sexuality studies
program at SFSU, said the new center has a valuable role to fill on
issues important to Americans. "Research conducted at the center
will provide much needed state-of-the-art information needed by academics,
policymakers, the media, health service providers and other community-service
organizations that are challenged by sexual health, education and rights,"
he said. "To make America safe for sexuality and to raise sexual
literacy, this center fills a long needed gap."
SFSU Provost and vice president for academic affairs John Gemello, speaking
on behalf of President Robert A. Corrigan at opening ceremonies on January
30, called the center a major step for the human sexuality studies program.
"With Deborah Tolman as director of the center, she will increase
respect for issues of gender and sexuality in this country," he
Contact: Ted DeAdwyler, (415) 338-7110; tedde@sfsu