Advocacy and Public Policy

Two white people sitting in brown chairs, talking to each other.

Advocating for sex and gender rights. 

Comprehensive sexual health cannot be achieved without comprehensive sexual rights. The Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH) faculty work to raise awareness of sexual rights as an inherent part of universal human rights based on freedom, dignity, and equality.

From serving as expert advisors and leaders of international organization to offering legal consultation and workplace education, ISGH faculty members advocate for sound public policy based on the best available science.

Promoting HIV Prevention

Promoting HIV Prevention

Along with the Pan American Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PHS co-sponsored an XIX International AIDS Conference session on sexual health and evidence-based sexual health education. Eli Coleman, PhD, presented, “Towards a Broader Vision of Sexual Health in the New Millennium.”

Community Health and Policy Advocate. Bean Robinson, PhD, advocates for HIV Prevention in the African American community.

Expert consultant, WHO, UNAIDS, CENSIDA, PAHO meetings in Washington DC, Acapulco, Mexico, Panama, and Geneva, Switzerland. Eli Coleman, PhD, collaborated on HIV/AIDS/STI assessment, prevention, and treatment for emerging and re-emerging epidemics of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men and transgender individuals around the world.

Promoting Sexual Health

Promoting Sexual Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eli Coleman, PhD, serves on a committee to revitalize a national strategy to advance sexual health. In 2011 the CDC published Public Health Approach for Advancing Sexual Health in the US: Rationale and Options for Implementation. Walter Bockting, PhD, participated as a consultant.

Policy review. Eli Coleman, PhD, is working with World Association for Sexual Health and World Health Organization to review the sexual diagnoses in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Efforts are underway to revise definitions/classifications on the basis of evidence from the field of sexual health.

Sexual Health Advisory Board, Sinclair Intimacy Institute. Eli Coleman, PhD, serves as the chair of the Advisory Council which helps guide the development of Sinclair sexual educational films and to ensure each video reflects the concerns and needs of healthy individuals and couples who want to enhance their intimacy.

Sexual Health for the Millennium. Eli Coleman, PhD, served as project coordinator and senior editor for the development of the World Association for Sexual Health technical document and advocacy trainings in Latin America (Ecuador) and Africa (Kenya), Europe (United Kingdom), and Asia (Vietnam) to promote sexual health in alignment with the UN Millennium Development Goals, a project funded by the Ford Foundation.

Trojan Sexual Health Advisory Committee. Eli Coleman, PhD, is the co-chair of the group working to develop a strategy to promote sexual health and responsible sexual behavior, increase awareness of scientific-based knowledge of factors to improve sexual health including comprehensive sexuality education and increase condom use.

Promoting Transgender Health

Promoting Transgender Health

Advocate. Dianne Berg, PhD, on behalf of transgender individuals through consultation/training with elementary and high schools, universities, professional organizations and the workplace.

American Psychiatric Association Task Force on the Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder in Children, Adolescence, and Adults. Eli Coleman, PhD, served as a member of subcommittee examining the treatment of adults. The group examined current practices and suggest revisions to guidelines based on the best evidence in the field. In 2012 the group's report was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

American Psychological Association. Walter Bockting, PhD, was appointed to the Task Force on Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients.

Expert consultation. Eli Coleman, PhD, and Walter Bockting, PhD, are working on a Blueprint for the Provision of Comprehensive Care to Transgender and Transsexual Persons and Their Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Pan American Health Organization and the International Association for Physicians in AIDS Care.

Expert consultation to Lambda Legal, Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD, worked on the case of Esquivel v. Oregon that resulted in the State of Oregon changing their employee health care policy to cover transgender individuals for transition-related health care (2013).

Expert consultant to the health insurance industry, Walter Bockting, PhD, advocated on behalf of transgender individuals to insurance companies for coverage of transgender-specific health care, including surgery (2008).

Expert consultant to the State of Oregon. Walter Bockting, PhD, consulted on changing gender markers for transgender individuals on driver’s licenses and other state documents (2008).

Institute of Medicine. Walter Bockting, PhD, was appointed to serve on a year-long committee. In March 2011 the committee released the historic report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD, was selected to review the report.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Bean Robinson, PhD, is the current executive director of the international multidisciplinary professional association whose mission is to promote evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, and public policy in transgender health.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health President (2009 - 2011), Walter Bockting, PhD, contributed to a number of public policy statements and initiatives designed to reduce stigma and improve the health, well-being, and human rights for transgender and transsexual people nationally and internationally.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Dianne Berg, PhD, is a member of the Disorders of Sexual Development Committee that works to educate and provide consultation on the current state of knowledge, research, and clinical practice regarding individuals born with sex-atypical variants of internal and external sex differentiation to professionals and the lay public.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health released a revised Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Non-conforming People. The international revision committee included Eli Coleman, PhD, (Chair), Walter Bockting, PhD, Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD, and Bean Robinson, PhD (2011).

Eliminating Health Disparities

Eliminating Health Disparities

Melpomene Institute. Bean Robinson, PhD, served on the Board of Directors for the organization that seeks to eliminate health disparities in Minnesota by empowering women and girls to lead active, healthy, full lives.

Improving the quality of health care

Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD, is on the Research and Quality Improvement Committee which promotes clinical research by family physicians, residents, and students; organizes an annual research forum; and works with MAFP Research Network to encourage practice-based research efforts.

Psychology Standards Committee. Anne McBean, MA, served the University of Minnesota Medical Center at Fairview on the committee dedicated to certification standards.

Legal Consultation and Expert Witness Testimony

Legal Consultation and Expert Witness Testimony

When called upon, PHS faculty provide scientific-based information in legal settings. We provide information on behalf of transgender individuals, individuals with intersex conditions, and as well as cases dealing with sexual abuse and sexual offending. From the Minnesota State Legislature and the Minnesota Department of Corrections to elementary schools and workplaces, we provide accurate information to increase understanding, set precedents for sexual rights, and reduce social stigma.

Media Consultation

Media Consultation

In an effort to share accurate information with the general public, our faculty frequently consult with major news organizations such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, ABC News, WCCO News, and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

For media inquiries, call 612-625-1331