In a diverse Country like Canada (and in an even more diverse city like Toronto), those in the helping professions (health, social service, social justice, etc.) are forever grappling to stay abreast of the needs of their service users. With this, an investment in continuing education provides an opportunity to gain the insights needed, to better provide more inclusive programs and service.

Having worked in the social service sector for over thirteen years, professional development has always provided me with the knowledge to be more aware of, and sensitive to, the needs of various service users.  With this in mind, this summer I took two wonderful courses at Ryerson University – CINT 906 Sexuality: Power and Pleasure and CSOC 633 Sex, Gender Identities and Sexualities. I highly recommend these two courses, if you are interested in providing – and promoting – more culturally congruent, and LGBTTIQQ2SA friendly, programs and services.

The Ryerson University website provides the following overview of these courses:

CINT 906 Sexuality: Power and Pleasure:

  • This survey course examines the societal basis of attitudes and behaviours related to human sexuality. Students will be introduced to research and theoretical concepts in the literature that contributes to our understanding of sexuality. Sexuality is recognized as a complex and multi-dimensional component of human identity and experience, mediated and influenced by social constructs of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age and socio-economic opportunities. The course promotes critical self and social consciousness through challenging sex-negative religious traditions, institutional regulation/control of sexuality, and gender socialization including patriarchal family structure. Some of the topics to be considered are sexuality across the life course; sexuality and liberation; intimacy, love and relationships; sex and gender role socialization; sex, violence and the law, sex as a commodity and AIDS and sexual behaviour.

CSOC 633 Sex, Gender Identities and Sexualities:

  • This course examines the social and personal significance of sexuality in our lives and the relationship between the two. It discusses sexuality as it intersects with topics such as sexual orientation, race, disability, gender identity, sex work, the military, fashion and music. In a world where same sex relations, trans identities and non-heteronormative identities are becoming more common, how is it they are still highly problematic for many individuals, families, cultures and religions?

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