Our Purpose

Our Potential

Research: Advancing groundbreaking discovery through bio-psycho- social gender and sexuality research. 

Clinical Care: Develop, provide and promote evidence-based best clinical care.

Education: Advancing a nationally and internationally recognized center for sexual and gender health education.

Advocacy and Public Policy: Advocating for sexual and gender rights.

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH) is one of the largest clinical, teaching, and research institutions in the world specializing in human sexuality. We have a strong research agenda in sexual aggression and compulsive sexual behavior, transgender health, relationship and sex therapy, and women’s sexual health that has been supported by millions of dollars in state and federal funding. We have developed innovative and effective treatment approaches to sexual problems. ISGH has led the way nationally and internationally in crucial, often controversial, sexual issues and has worked with local, national, and international health agencies to advance public health policies promoting sexual health.

History: The formation of the program started to take shape June 2-3, 1970, with the first Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Medical School partnered with the Lutheran Church to create the Program in Human Sexuality (PHS) and assigned it the task of teaching and conducting research in the field of human sexuality. A medical school curriculum was established that included a SAR with lectures and readings. In 1973, PHS began offering therapeutic and educational services to individuals with sexual dysfunctions and other relationship problems, and in 1977 the program became a unit within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. In 2021, PHS was elevated into an Institute within the University of Minnesota Medical School. The Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH) was named on May 20, 2021.