Tag Archives: sexual

‘Sex Week’ returns to UT Knoxville

A two-day “preview” of Sex Week — a racy student program that evoked outrage in the state legislature last spring — will return to the University of Tennessee campus next week, reports the News Sentinel.

The truncated event will run Oct. 8- 9 and center on one event each evening. A pastor, sex educator, health professional, professor and student will host a panel discussion titled “Falling into Your Sexuality,” said Brianna Rader, co-founder of Sex Week at UT.

“There is a panel with representatives that you think about when you make decisions about your sex life,” she said. “There will be two or three more general topics like sexual health, sexual assault, whether you can drink at a party and hook up.”

The second night will repeat one of the most popular events from the spring: Sex in the Dark.

More than 300 students attended the program in the University Center where participants put questions in a shoe box, turn off the lights and then discuss those submissions with their peers. Health professionals are also in the room to correct any misinformation, Rader said.

The student organizers are using leftover funding from the spring Sex Week to pay for the two-day event, Rader said. The organization is still raising money for the full-length event in 2014.

Last year, funds donated by academic departments were revoked when state legislators expressed outrage over the event. A last minute $10,000 donation from Planned Parenthood and the Unitarian Church allowed the event to go on.

To fund the spring 2014 event, the organizers are again applying for a portion of student activity fees, raising money through T-shirt sales and asking departments for money for specific less-scandalous projects like sexual assault education, Rader said.

Report Says 19 Percent of Youths in TN Juvenile Corrections ‘Sexually Victimized’

A recent U.S. Department of Justice report says that youths in Tennessee juvenile correction facilities are at greater risk of being sexually victimized than the national average, reports the Tennessean.
The report estimates that 9.5 percent of youths in state and private correctional facilities across the nation, or just more than 1,700 youths, were sexually victimized in 2011-12. The rate for Tennessee facilities was 13 percent.
The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics compiled the numbers through surveys of 326 facilities across the country. Nearly 8,700 youths responded to the sexual victimization part of the survey.
The report defines sexual victimization as forced sexual activity between youths and all sexual activity involving youths and staff.
Of the four Tennessee facilities surveyed, John S. Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville had the highest rate of estimated sexual victimization, at 19.5 percent, up from 16.3 percent in 2010, when the bureau published a similar study. Three years ago, the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center had one of the highest rates in the county, at 26 percent.

DesJarlais’ Girlfriend: No Inaccuracies in Report on Relatonship

The Chattanooga Times-Free Press says the woman who acknowledged having a sexual relationship with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais while he was her doctor in 2000 has declared the newspaper’s report on the relationship was accurate. The DesJarlais campaign had said earlier that the woman had reported inaccuracies in the original story, which ran Sunday.
“There’s no inaccuracies with the story,” she said Tuesday, adding that she stands by everything she said in a recorded, face-to-face interview.
DesJarlais, a Republican, is running for re-election against Democrat Eric Stewart in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District race. Neither he nor his staff has addressed the woman’s specific assertions about marijuana use and having sexual contact with a patient.
“The Chattanooga Times Free Press is reporting a factually inaccurate story from a non-credible anonymous source who is lying,” the congressman said Tuesday in a written statement. The
The woman spoke on condition of anonymity. Her statement came two days after she contacted the newspaper with concerns about the story’s accuracy; until Tuesday, she declined to respond to a Times Free Press reporter’s follow-up inquiries about what portions of the interview were being challenged.
On Tuesday, the woman said she initially reached out because she “got scared” and didn’t realize the interview’s potential impact, fearing she may have wrongly remembered details from 12 years ago. But upon further reflection, she said, she stood by her story and the newspaper’s account of it.

Memphis Council Approves Sexual Orientation Ordinance

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday approved a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes workplace protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, ending a debate that began in 2010, according to the Commercial Appeal.
“City of Memphis employees will go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning to hear the news that their hard work will be respected and their ability to contribute to their community will be preserved,” said Jonathan Cole, vice president of the Tennessee Equality Project, one of the backers of the legislation. “It’s a new day in Memphis, Tennessee.”
The legislation sponsored by council members Lee Harris and Shea Flinn and approved in a 9-4 vote includes protections against discrimination for “sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnicity, national origin and disability.”
It applies only to employment by the city of Memphis, not private individuals or groups that may contract with the city.
Council members Flinn, Harris, Harold Collins, Edmund Ford Jr., Janis Fullilove, Wanda Halbert, Reid Hedgepeth, Myron Lowery and Jim Strickland voted for the ordinance. Council members Bill Boyd, Joe Brown, Bill Morrison and Kemp Conrad voted against it.

CREW Files Complaint Against DesJarlais for Sexual Relationship With Patient

News release from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health against Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) for conducting an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient in violation of state law.
Last week, it was reported that in 2001, while he was married, Rep. DesJarlais engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient. A transcript of a conversation between Rep. DesJarlais and the unidentified woman clearly demonstrates the pair began a sexual relationship when Rep. DesJarlais was her treating physician. The transcript also reveals the pro-life congressman urging the woman, whom he believed might have been pregnant with his child, to have an abortion. Rep. DesJarlais has not contested the authenticity of the transcript and has admitted to the relationship.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “Tennessee law is crystal clear: Doctors are prohibited from engaging in sexual relationships with patients. The only question remaining is, now that Tennessee authorities are aware of Rep. DesJarlais’ blatantly unethical and scurrilous conduct, what are they going to do about it?”
During the conversation, the woman blamed their predicament on Rep. DesJarlais, noting it was his “fault for sleeping with your patient.” Rep. DesJarlais responded that she had initiated the relationship by suggesting he ask her out after he called to check on her foot.
According to the Tennessee State Board of Medical Examiners’ Sexual Misconduct Statement and Policy, “sexual contact with a patient is misconduct and is considered to be a violation of T.C.A. Section 63-6-214(b)(1),” which prohibits unprofessional, dishonorable or unethical conduct. The policy makes clear that whether the patient consented to or initiated the sexual contact is immaterial; the physician is strictly liable. Possible penalties for violations include restrictions on a physician’s practice as well as the suspension or even revocation of his medical license.
Sloan continued, “It is hard to imagine behavior much more craven than a married doctor exploiting his position to conduct a sexual relationship with a patient. It is mind-boggling that when confronted with the patient/mistress’s possible pregnancy, this ardent pro-lifer urged her to have an abortion. How much hypocrisy can we stand? Where is Speaker John Boehner’s much-touted zero tolerance for unethical conduct now?”

Note: Text of the letter to Department of Health is HERE.
In response to an emailed inquiry about the letter, Department of Health spokesman Woody McMillan responded: Anyone can file a complaint with our Complaints Division. The complainant does not have to be a Tennessee resident. Our investigators follow up on each complaint received. We could not speak to a time line, as each complaint is evaluated based on the issues involved.

DesJarlais Could Face Discipline Over Sexual Relationship With Patient

At least five Tennessee physicians have been disciplined for having consensual sexual relationships with patients since mid-2005, according to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press’ review of state records.
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper, isn’t one of them, despite conducting such a relationship with a patient he met on the job. His record shows no history of patient complaints, and he’s still a registered family practice physician whose license doesn’t expire until 2014.
But even though it’s at least a decade old, a phone transcript that revealed DesJarlais pressuring his former patient to abort a pregnancy could lead to disciplinary action.
“There is no statute of limitations on filing complaints against licensed health professionals,” said Shelley Walker, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Health.
Walker said “anyone who has information” on possible physician misconduct can file a report with the department’s complaints division. Complaints that can be substantiated are passed on to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, which disciplines physicians and other health professionals.
The board never reveals the names of those who file complaints.
…An anti-abortion freshman legislator, DesJarlais often hypes his medical career — his campaign signs simply say “Dr. Scott DesJarlais.” He plans on returning to medicine after six terms in Congress.
In an interview Friday, DesJarlais said he exercised “poor judgment,” but doesn’t see the doctor-patient relationship as “a disqualifying issue” for a post-congressional career.
“I’m confident that a professional review would allow me to continue to practice medicine,” he said
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Memphis Sexual Orientation Ordinance on Hold

The Memphis City Council has approved including sexual orientation in a proposed nondiscrimination ordinance, but delayed a final vote on the measure for 30 days, reports the Commercial Appeal. During the delay, legal experts will research whether the legislation would violate the city’s charter.
City Councilman Lee Harris originally sponsored an ordinance to ban the city from discriminating against individuals based on “age, ethnicity, national origin and disability.”
Harris and councilman Shea Flinn amended the measure Tuesday to include sexual orientation in the list. That amendment was approved 7-5, but council members later voted to delay their final vote after the city attorney and the council’s attorney raised questions about the legality of the amendment and whether it would require a referendum.
Council attorney Allan Wade and City Atty. Herman Morris said Harris’ proposed ordinance could face legal challenges for overstepping the charter, which bans discrimination on “religion, race, sex, creed or political affiliation.”
“On the face of it, it would be an expansion of our charter and would require a charter amendment,” said Wade. “You pass this tonight and there will be a group of citizens that says, ‘This is something we should speak on,’ and we will be sued. There’s no doubt about that.

Memphis City Council Eyes Sexual Orientation Ordinance

Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris is pushing passage of a city ordinance that, as it stands, would declare the city cannot discriminate in hiring on the basis of race, age or gender, which is not very controversial. But Jackson Baker reports he’s also proposing an amendment that would add “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
...And that’s where some resistance could arise, both on the Council and in the city. Harris said Sunday night he thought most of the organized opposition in the city — “90 percent” — emanates from Cordova and specifically from Bellevue Baptist Church, where pastor Steve Gaines and church members have mounted a campaign against the ordinance.
As for the population at large,l Harris doesn’t foresee much objection to the inclusion of the sexual categories, loosely characterized by the initials LGBT (for “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered/transsexual”). “We wouldn’t be doing anything radical. We wouldn’t even be moving ahead much. We’d just be catching up,” said Harris, who said most major American cities have already moved to extend workplace protection to people in those categories.
Nor does Harris believe such an ordinance would be in conflict with legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2011 that prohibits local jurisdictions from passing anti-discrimination provisions at variance with those ordained by state law. Harris, who consulted legal authorities in and out of city government, said he was assured that, so long as his ordinance confined itself to municipal government and did not apply to “third party”employers, it would pass muster.
But Harris said his decision on whether to include the sexual categories in his anti-discrimination ordinance will be based solely on a simple practical test: “Do we have the votes? That’s it, pure and simple.” The ordinance will need 7 of the Council’s 13 votes to prevail.
And Harris was explicit on the subject. There are five Council members who would definitely support the more inclusive version of the ordinance, Harris said…Two other Council members — Wanda Halbert and Ed Ford — Harris counts as undecided, the swing voters on the issue
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‘Gateway Sexual Activity’ Bill Still Being Debated

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy, Tennessee recently enacted a pro-abstinence sex education law that is among the strictest in the nation.
The most debated section of the bill bars educators from promoting “gateway sexual activity.” But supporters seemed too squeamish during floor debate to specify what that meant, so critics soon labeled it the “no holding-hands bill.”
One thing missing from the debate in the Legislature was a discussion of whether the law signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last month really would help reduce Tennessee’s high teenage pregnancy rate. Experts say it won’t and warn that it leaves teenagers inadequately educated about sexuality and prevention of pregnancy and disease.
Tennessee’s pregnancy rate among girls 15 to 17 has dropped steadily since the first abstinence-focused sex education curriculum was put in place in the 1990s, according to figures from the state Commission on Children and Youth. In 2009, the latest data available, there were 29.6 pregnancies per 1,000 girls, down from a rate of 48.2 in 1998.
Yet the state’s teen pregnancy rate remains one of the highest in the nation, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization.

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Haslam on LGBT Discrimination, the Homeless & Animal Abuse

In a question-and-answer session with the Cookeville Herald-Citizen, Gov. Bill Haslam raises the possibility – well, kinda, sorta, a little bit , maybe — of doing something to help the homeless at the state level and changing anti-discrimination laws to the benefit of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender persons.
Excerpts:
On homelessness: “Most of that is being addressed by local governments, which is the right place. As a state, we are trying to look, are there things that we might do to help them.”
Responding to the question (sent to the newspaper by a reader), “Would you support changing Tennessee’s anti-discrimination policy to include protections for LGBT Tennesseans?”
“I guess it depends on exactly what they mean in terms of changes in what way. Again as governor one of my responsibilities is to make sure that no one is discriminated against or subject to any kind of abuse because of that. Again it all depends on changing the laws to say what?”
On cruelty to animals and recent reports on the “soring” of Tennessee walking horses:
” I think from a state standpoint, a couple things, number one, we certainly don’t condone animal abuse of any kind period. In that case, we support animal enforcement, the horse protection act that was passed. The enforcement for that particular industry comes from the USDA, federal law enforcement comes from them.”