Susan Ekberg Stiritz
St. Louis, Missouri
Want to know more about me? I am an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator using transformative pedagogies at Washington University in St. Louis.
My interest in transformative education first emerged from experience in the antipoverty movement of the 1960s and 70s. I noticed when people enrolled in literacy and community action programs and grasped the political contexts of their lives, they saw everything differently. They became increasingly motivated to change their circumstances and the world's for the better.
Later, as manager of training and education for The St. Louis Family Planning Council, I saw sexual agency working in similar ways. When clients made positive decisions about their sexuality and fertility, they started making life-enhancing decisions in other realms of their lives. Agency depends on valuing, protecting, and honoring one's body, desire, and pleasure.
More recently, as a faculty member of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis, I taught courses that shifted students' perspectives and helped them to resist complying with pressures to act against their own best interests. It was intoxicating to watch students become powerful protagonists in their own lives.
As Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Sexuality Studies at WU's Brown School, I hope to teach others how to use transformative sexuality education. Sexuality is paradoxical-- both a source of empowerment and a site of oppression. Being in charge of how it functions in our lives can help us turn dreams for personal and societal fulfillment into reality.
I conduct research and publish articles to share concerns and to provoke response and dialogue. I also present my work at workshops and conferences, such as those organized by AASECT, SSSS, NWSA, and Law and Society.
"Cultural Cliteracy: Exposing the Contexts of Women's Not Coming" and "Teaching Men's Anal Pleasure: Challenging Gender Norms with 'Prostage' Education" (co-authored) are papers, among others I have written, that examine how transformative sexuality education changes how we see sexuality---and so what we do with it.