Sexology is the science that studies sexual behavior in its broadest sense of the word. Many people who are interested in this science wonder where to study, what requirements are necessary for access to this profession and even what are the functions of a sexologist.
This article is about just that, about how to be a sexologist and what basic information you need to take into account when considering this career.
What are the areas of Sexology?
Sexology is composed of three fundamental areas . The first one has to do with education, where through projects in the educational field, objectives and contents of general interest are worked on with different populations (young people, the elderly, the disabled, etc.), and contexts: schools, institutes, senior citizens’ centres, among others.
The second area is the clinic , which addresses not only sexual dysfunctions in patients (rapid ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia, etc.), but also couple problems and any other difficulties of a sexual nature.
Finally, the third pillar of sexology, and the one least addressed by professionals, is sexological research , which is the one that feeds the two previous ones with scientific knowledge.
Is sexology a specialty of psychology, medicine or other disciplines?
Over the last few years, sexology has been closely linked to psychology and more specifically to the clinical area of psychology , being one more subject to be dealt with in many masters in clinical psychology.
However, the independence of sexology from other disciplines is as indisputable as its multidisciplinary nature, which means that this science is shaped not only by psychologists but also by educators, social workers, doctors and other health professionals.
What are the functions of this professional?
Training in sexology is an opportunity for many professionals because of the specificity of the discipline. The functions of a sexologist can be summarised as follows:
- Assess and treat sexual problems within a clinical context.
- Programming and implementing sex education projects.
- Research and publish articles related to sexual behavior.
- To disseminate the knowledge generated by the science of sexology.
The scope of action of sexologists is therefore very broad, given that sexuality has various facets, all of which are of great importance in society and in people’s private lives. For example, a distinction can be made between three main areas: research, intervention and education. In all of them, moreover, psychology has a relevant role linked both to physiological sexual processes and to the generation of a self-concept from experiences of this kind.
What degree do you need to obtain to become a sexologist?
In no country in the world is sexology officially recognized as a discipline as psychology, medicine or nursing, among others, except in Canada, where it exists as a university career. In this sense, we find in most cases the absence of official requirements and itineraries that lead a person to develop the competences attributed to the professional of sexology, the sexologist, although there are recommendations.
These recommendations come from conducting specialized training in sexology, as an expert or master . Thus, we can opt for two training routes, the university route, choosing one of the many universities that offer training of this type, or the private route, normally entities (psychology and sexology centres) that have professionals who act as teachers who manage different sexology projects in the educational and clinical fields.
It is important to point out that it is indifferent to carry out this type of training in a university or in a private entity to practice as a sexologist, since the absence of regulations in this sense does not make it necessary to opt for one or the other option.
However, if the motivation is to obtain a training that allows us to have a good base from which to start practicing at a lower price than that normally offered by the university route, whose rates are increasingly higher than those of the private route, we could choose one of the many sexology centers that offer an expert or master’s degree of this type.
As is logical, each university, sexology centre or academy will establish the contents to be worked on by the student, it being fundamental to choose that training that contemplates a sufficient agenda to deal with the two most relevant branches of sexology, education and the clinic. An example of this is the content dealt with by Psychological Training in its master’s degree in sexology at its two levels: expert in sexology and specialist in sex therapy.
It is important when choosing a training course to opt for one that provides the necessary skills to carry out the functions of sexologist both at the educational level (sex education projects) and at the clinical level (consultations).
A recommendation: Professional Master in Sexology and Couple Therapy
In Murcia, Instituto de la Pareja is carrying out an interesting training program to specialize in Sexology from the perspective of psychological intervention: the Professional Master’s Degree in Sexology and Couple’s Therapy. Thus, in this Master, students are also trained in couple’s therapy, one of the facets of the activity of psychologists that most often go hand in hand with sexual problems.
This is a 10-month training and professionalization program, consisting of 60 ECTS credits and 600 practical hours, to learn the theoretical and practical foundations of sexology. In addition, all the teaching staff comes from the world of sex therapy, medicine, psychotherapy and related sciences.
Among its contents are such interesting and important topics as the treatment of paraphilias and sex addiction, sex education , the components of love in the couple, jealousy and insecurities, exercises to be used in sex therapy, etc.
- If you are interested in learning more about this Master’s degree, click here.
Conclusion: how to be a sexologist?
In summary, we are talking about a relatively new science, which is not subject to any regulations , something that allows access by practically any interested person who is doing advanced training with a minimum quality that allows them to acquire the necessary tools to tackle cases or projects related to the subject.
Each student who wants to train in this specialization, however, has the responsibility to train in a way that allows them to provide a service of the highest quality.