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02-07-2012

Clarkson University Faculty Member Authors Book on "America's Sexual Transformation"

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/gkelly.jpg.]

Gary F. Kelly, an adjunct faculty member in Clarkson University’s Department of Psychology and Honors Program, has authored a book about how the aftermath of the sexual revolution continues to transform our ideas of what it means to be a sexual human being in the 21st century.

Gary F. KellyTitled America’s Sexual Transformation: How the Sexual Revolution’s Legacy is Shaping Our Society, Our Youth, and Our Future, the book was released by Praeger Publishers, an imprint of ABC/CLIO.

Part memoir and part social commentary, the book explores the findings of the most recent research on the sexuality of adolescents and young adults; sexual behaviors in the United States; gender-typed traits of females and males; and how red-state and blue-state mentalities have shaped the sexual behaviors of young people in surprising ways. It also tackles the newest findings on the developmental origins of sexual orientation and gender identity.

A counselor and administrator who came to Clarkson in 1973, Kelly was involved in the founding of The Clarkson School, subsequently serving as its headmaster for 22 years. He was also a student affairs professional, eventually serving as the university’s vice president for student affairs from 1998 to 2005.

He retired from administrative duties at the end of 2005 to spend more time teaching and writing. He has taught Clarkson’s human sexuality course for 20 years, and is the author of one of the most widely-used textbooks in the field. The tenth edition of Sexuality Today was published by McGraw-Hill in 2011. A Chinese translation of the text was also published last year in China, one of the first college sexuality texts to be published there.

A nationally recognized sexuality educator and therapist, Kelly has published several books in the field, including a series for adolescents that was given awards as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association and the New York Public Library. In America’s Sexual Transformation, he recounts the many battles that were fought over the series and describes the recent failure of the government-supported abstinence-only approach to sexuality education.

Elected to the board of directors of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. early in his career, he has continued to be an advocate for comprehensive sexuality education. In the book, he explores how Europe has pulled ahead of the United States in this field, and he expresses concern that we are abdicating our responsibilities to prepare adolescents with sex education to the pervasive influences of online pornography and smart phone communications.

Kelly served for eight years as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, and was a member of the charter board of consulting editors of the American Journal of Sexuality Education.

He is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. He is a licensed mental health counselor.

Judy Kuriansky of Columbia University has called his new book “a fascinating tour through the lens of a sexuality expert who combines his roles as an academic, award-winning teacher, and editor with decades-long experience in the field of sexuality.”

Kelly and his wife Betsy live on Joe Indian Pond in Parishville, N.Y. They have two daughters, Casey Walter, who is an actress in the Boston area, and Chelsea Kelly, who is an elementary school counselor and social worker in Clifton Park, N.Y.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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