Announcing the 2023 Gina Ogden Curatorial Scholars

The Gina Ogden Curatorial Scholarship for Integrative Approaches to Sex Research and Therapy is awarded to stimulate new ways of building on Dr. Gina Ogden’s integrative Four-Dimensional Wheel (4-D) approach to sex research and therapy, and to carry forward Dr. Ogden’s award-winning work. Scholars are expected to produce a tangible result: that is, an addition to the integrative practice of sex research and/or therapy that incorporates the complex relationships among body, mind, heart, and spirit. Scholarship recipients are also expected to contribute to the organization, preservation, and/or accessibility of Kinsey Institute collections.

Congratulations to our 2023 Scholars: Sahar Khanpour and Claudia Johnson.

Sahar Khanpour Research Statement:

Humans have created rules and regulations in an absurd world that refuses to be confined time and time again as we have seen in sexuality and gender. Humans constantly create new words or categories to place others in, and to stop them from expanding their definitions and their experiences any further. Everything is framed as a choice, however if no one offered or asked for an answer, would we still be choosing? By using the 4D model which includes heart (attachment), spirit (consciousness and ecstasy), mind (expansion of sexuality), and body (awareness of an expansion of our sense for the experience of an orgasm), we can expand sexual experiences and gender expression to a new level; These four senses can explore intimacy with non-humans created to become a part of our lives and environment. Humans can push the boundaries of choice and stand firmly against the labels that are pushed upon us by society. By using the 4D model, we can explore the meaning of humanness, consciousness, sexuality and how we might gatekeep sexuality and limit it only to God’s design.

My research interests and objectives revolve around our treatment of AI and pushing the boundaries of humanity, sexuality, and choice; they can become our intimate partners, sitting with us during times of sorrow and going out on dates with us humans, sometimes without being physically present. I would like to propose a creation for a publishable report regarding the current use of teledildonic and erobotic use within our society today. This research study will be able to give a present picture regarding the use of teledildonics and erobotics, and how it affects present relationships with others, and the self. My thesis will be able to expand our current knowledge regarding erotic interactions with non-human beings, and perhaps the nuances in individuals' experiences, and a new understanding that goes beyond just sex and the erotic for individuals, but also the future of intimacy and companionship within romantic and platonic relationships.

Claudia Johnson Research Statement: 

As a sexuality researcher, I am deeply interested in exploring the intersection between sexuality, spirituality, religion, meaning making, and their connection to pleasure. My area of focus specializes in these topics, especially within Latin American populations where cultural norms, gender norms, social and religious narratives impact one’s beliefs and identities, especially when it pertains to sex, sexuality, sexual practices, and sexual behaviors. As a marriage and family therapist, I primarily work with individuals and relationships from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds where sex, particularly non-procreative sex (both partnered and solo), tends to be framed as a blasphemous/selfish activity in which pleasure and the meaning assigned to it carries stigma. As a sex therapist, I primarily work with people who experience feelings of shame and guilt that ultimately lead to sexual health problems and concerns.

My aim is to create a specific strategy that addresses sexual religious shame rooted in a narrative of sin by centering pleasure at the core of integration and transformation following the groundbreaking work of Dr. Ogden’s 4-D model which integrates the body, mind, heart, spirit connection. This strategy seeks to impact the constructions of sexual religious shame that influence the material realities of religious Latin American individuals. This strategy facilitates the exploration and deconstruction of sexual shame increasing sexual confidence by situating sexual pleasure at the center of the mind, heart, soul, and body connection. New opportunities to explore pleasure-oriented meaning making foster self-awareness and self-reflection and practitioners would benefit from utilizing this strategy with populations experiencing sexual religious shame.

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