Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Counselling Psychology Quarterly 33:3 (2020), pp. 375–392.

doi: 10.1080/09515070.2018.1553146


Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


The United States (U.S.) is characterized by some of the poorest sexual health outcomes in the industrialized world, as indicated by the teen and unplanned pregnancy rates, rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and occurrence of sexual dysfunction. Many people seek psychotherapy for sex-related concerns, yet little is known about the specific education psychologists receive during their training regarding sex. Existing research has largely been conducted in Canada and among clinical psychologists. While studies have revealed that few applied psychology graduate programs offer training in sexuality, very little is known about the specific content areas covered by those programs who do offer this training. We surveyed faculty from 38 counseling psychology doctoral programs primarily in the U.S. Results indicated that relatively few programs offer comprehensive training in sexuality with particular areas such as sex therapy, sexual expression, and reproductive health especially unlikely to be covered. Commonly covered topics included sexual development, sexual orientation and gender identity, intimacy, sexual trauma and abuse, and intersectionality. Implications for training and future research are offered.