The CSPH recognizes that privilege and access have heavily influenced the prominence of primarily white, cisgender, heterosexual, Judeo-Christian, socioeconomically advantaged voices in the field of sexuality (and US society in general). For us, being culturally inclusive is to conscientiously seek out materials, resources, and consultants that represent a wider swath of experiences and identities than are present in our current staff and network. Beyond representation, The CSPH strives toward cultural inclusion by critically analyzing the dominant representation of white, middle-class, cis, hetero samples in research and best practice development. By practicing cultural inclusion, The CSPH works to hold space for a wide array of cultural identities to be represented in our work and the field of sexuality on a larger scale.
We believe that everyone should be able to consensually explore and express their sexual identities (which include sexual orientations, sexual behaviors, gender identities, relationship styles, and sexual preferences) both publicly and privately, without outside pressure or coercion. The CSPH advocates for ongoing education and open discourse about all aspects of sex and sexuality, trying to decrease stigmas against expressing sexual pleasure and desire. We stress that no form of sexual activity should ever be considered “essential” or “positive” for everyone, recognizing that sex has the potential to be empowering and natural, but sexual experiences are not universally identical. While individuals define their own sexual preferences as they see fit, personal preferences should not affect the ability to celebrate alternate sexual choices between other consenting adults. The CSPH believes in providing a safe and positive space where people can comfortably learn about all aspects of sexuality, and use this knowledge to help them navigate whatever sexual decisions they make for themselves.
The CSPH strongly advocates for gender equity, and against any societal force which disadvantages women. We believe feminism must be 100% inclusive of the trans community, and should not define womanhood solely in terms of physical features. We take an intersectional approach to feminism, which understands that the consequences of gender discrimination are often different for women of different ethnicities, social classes, and backgrounds. By remaining aware that trans women and women of color are currently underrepresented in the fields of sex education and feminism, we try to be as inclusive as possible in our work, but know that more work still needs to be done.
The CSPH believes in the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming, queer, intersex, and asexual individuals. We support the right of all people to live free from oppression, discrimination, and marginalization based on sex, sexual orientation and behavior, gender identity, and gender expression.We further understand the importance of having allies in the movement for LGBTQIA rights. The Center acknowledges that the LGBTQIA community is not one unified whole and that folks within it are disadvantaged in different ways. We recognize the need for LGBTQIA representation in the media, government, healthcare, and education systems and we work to ensure our resources and services are accessible to these communities. At the CSPH, we strive to create a space that is mindful of the struggles and experiences of LGBTQIA people and we respect the names, pronouns, and identities of all individuals.
Pro-Reproductive Justice and Pro-Choice
The CSPH believes that all people should have access to comprehensive information, resources, and support around their reproductive health, while acknowledging that that is not the experience for many people. We affirm the right for individuals to make personal decisions about pregnancy and contraception, and do not support restrictive governmental controls that seek to cut down on reproductive care, providers, and options. Choices about a person’s bodily autonomy and reproduction should center around that person’s needs and experiences. We affirm people’s ability to make the best choices for their circumstances. This includes being able to build families of whatever structure fits a person’s life and the right to see those families grow and thrive. We also recognize that none of these choices happen in a vacuum, and that decisions are impacted by someone’s communities, resources, and identities. The CSPH believes in using a reproductive justice framework (a term coined by SisterSong and, broadly, communities of color) to acknowledge the relationship between reproductive issues and social justice issues overall. We encourage others to visit the SisterSong website linked above to learn more about this framework and the multiple ways reproductive oppression shows up in society.
Pro-Sex Worker Rights
The CSPH believes people have the right to control their own bodies and as such, advocates for decriminalization in order to ensure personal autonomy and safety for sex workers. We recognize that there are fundamental differences between sex work and human trafficking in which people are forced or coerced to perform sex work. Within sex work itself, there are differences between those who freely and willingly exchange money, goods, and/or services for erotic labor, and survival sex work, where one engages in erotic labor specifically to meet their basic needs. We also acknowledge that people may move between these categories over time and/or experience trafficking while also engaged in sex work. It is important to understand the differences between human trafficking and sex work in order to combat human trafficking and ensure that sex workers are safe and valued in the jobs that they work. Decriminalizing sex work ensures that sex workers are more likely to disclose their employment to medical providers (ensuring better health care) and to report abuse (being assaulted, abused, or robbed) to relevant support systems, be they law enforcement, care services, and/or other community members. We support the rights of sex workers to access informed medical services, have the ability to report violence, and be free from harassment and threats. The CSPH believes that basic labor rights should apply to all sectors of the sex work industry so that all workers may be protected.
The CSPH recognizes and respects that many people have complex relationships with their bodies. As such, we strive to ensure our resources are representative and inclusive of a variety of body types. We understand the harm that can be caused by the lack of body diversity in the media and as a result of incessant messages that tell people their bodies aren’t good enough. We don’t follow the notion that only some bodies are valuable, but instead celebrate the nuances and uniqueness of all sizes, shapes, colors, features, and abilities.
The CSPH supports a nuanced understanding of BDSM, kinks, and fetishes which places primary importance on full consent, safety, and awareness of risks. We recognize that it is important to examine the roots of people’s kinks and understand how they may be influenced by social pressures, particularly ones regarding gender and race; we encourage this kind of self-examination without creating additional stigmas against the idea of being kinky in general.
The CSPH does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, skin color, or cultural background. Beyond blatant racism, however, we also strive to address the sexualities of a diverse range of communities that are currently underrepresented in education, media, and academia. Sexuality issues impact different racial and ethnic communities in different ways, and responsible sexuality education must be aware of how racial stereotypes add to the problematization of people’s sexual identities. The CSPH is dedicated to promoting diverse intersectional research in sexuality, being an active listener and ally to marginalized groups, and holding ourselves responsible for educating ourselves and making appropriate amends if we make a mistake, whether or not it is called out by others.
The CSPH supports full rights and inclusion for people with disabilities, whether they are physical, cognitive, developmental, and/or emotional; acquired and/or from birth; visible and/or hidden. We believe that people with disabilities have the right to full participation in decisions and actions around their sexuality. We do not support the idea that people with disabilities are somehow angelic, deviant, non-sexual, incapable or inspirational just by merit of living with a disability. Rather The CSPH recognizes the complexity of character inherent in all people and works to further sexual freedom and access for all people.
The CSPH believes that sexuality education is a fundamental human right, not a commodity. We work tirelessly to promote free access to quality sex education, as well as accessible professional training for those interested in pursuing a career in sexuality. Wherever possible, we provide discounted prices for those who cannot afford our services and we strongly advocate for standardized, living-wage compensation for all sexuality professionals. We reject the notion that there is a scarcity of work in the sexuality field when the world largely cannot access quality sex education. Long term, The CSPH envisions a field of sexuality that is organized, professional, and accessible with a rank and file strong enough to bring sex education to everyone.