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Cory Silverberg

Sexologist Sylvia Hacker, October 19, 1922 - January 13, 2013

By January 19, 2013

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Thanks to Carol Queen for sharing with me the news of the passing of Sylvia Hacker. I didn't know Sylvia, but while reading a bit about her life and work realized that I own one of her books, What Every Teenager Really Wants to Know About Sex, which she wrote with her daughter in 1993.

Sylvia got her bachelor of science degree from Brooklyn College in 1922 and her PhD from the University of Michigan in 1975, her dissertation research addressed what for her was the question that started her interest in studying human sexuality; with so many options for birth control why aren't people using it?

According to her obituary she was outspoken advocate for what we'd now call comprehensive sexuality education, arguing that sex educators need to teach as much (if not more) about pleasure than they do about reproduction and STDs. She appeared on talk shows and had her own show called Sexy Minutes.

I'm not sure of its origin, but there is a 20 minute interview with Sylvia on MySpace which was conducted when she was 85. She begins the interview by quoting Woody Allen, "I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

Ann Arbor.com: Renowned U-M professor of human sexuality Sylvia Hacker dies at age 90

MySpace: Interview with Sylvia Hacker

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