Psychology of Sexualities Section 2011

The Section held the AGM at the BPS London offices and decided to support the trans community by inviting Jemma Tosh to speak about ‘Challenging Queerphobic Practice: Protesting Ken Zucker’s ‘Treatmen’t of Childhood Gender Identity Disorder’ and Natacha Kennedy to speak about ‘A Community comes of age: Cyber Infrasturcture, identity and trans activism’ at the event . These appeared as articles in Psychology of Sexualities Review, edited by Kristoff Bonello, who has worked hard and with a lot of effort to make the Review successful in face of growing competition. The AGM was a great success and showed the members why it is important to be representative of the many diverse communities. The Section Committee recruited two excellent new members in Claudio Pestana and Ben Haysom-Newport. 

The Section has been extremely active and successful over the past 12 months. The Committee ha worked tirelessly to be transparent and show all members of the Section what we are all achieving. The Secretary, Roshan das Nair, has dedicated a great deal of time to ensuring that the Section deals with a number of important issues related to psychological practice with sexuality and gender related issues, while our Treasurer, Mary Blick, has made sure we have the resources to invest in present and future projects. On the student front, Andrew Clements has offered timeless energy even though he has been completing the final stages of his PhD while Eli Joubert has joined forces with the Faculty for Sexual Health to hold a joint conference in 2012. It is likely these efforts will gather pace in the coming year.

We are putting the final touches to the Statement on Reparative Therapies while another important area the Section has been involved in is the writing of Guidelines for Working Therapeutically with Sexual and Gender Minority Clients in conjunction with the Faculty for Sexual Health and HIV. We also joined forces with the Psychology of Women’s Section to jointly lend support to the efforts of Jemma Tosh who challenged the invite of Professor Ken Zucker as a keynote speaker to the Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference. Although the Conference went ahead, our protest did succeed in drawing attention to the contentious nature of Zucker’s work and to the way Conference speakers are chosen for the future. 

On an International front, we have representations on the International Network on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology (INET). We also joined the campaign, spearheaded by the Psychological Society of South Africa in February 2010, to oppose the anti-homosexuality legislation introduced in the Ugandan national legislature. 

One of the more enjoyable tasks agreed by the Section is the Psychology of Sexualities Section (PoSS) annual research prize. Two monetary awards are given each year, one the PoSS Student Prize awarded for an outstanding piece of work to a student (UK or International) writing in relation to sexualities and the other, the PoSS Annual Award to any professional in the UK or Internationally, writing in the field of sexualities. 

Overall, the Section is an exceptionally vibrant, exciting and challenging force within the BPS.