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Core Knowledge Areas

Core Knowledge

AASECT recently updated the Core Knowledge Areas (CKA) required for certification and certification renewal of all Sexuality Educators, Sexuality Counselors and Sex Therapists. All candidates for certification must have knowledge of the following as they relate to sexual health and pleasure.

  1. Ethics and ethical behavior.
  2. Developmental sexuality from a bio-psycho-social perspective across the life course.
  3. Socio-cultural, familial factors (e.g., ethnicity, culture, religion, spirituality, socioeconomic status, family values,) in relation to sexual values and behaviors.
  4. Issues related to Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity: heterosexuality; issues and themes impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual people; gender identity and expression.
  5. Intimacy skills (e.g., social, emotional, sexual), intimate relationships, interpersonal relationships and family dynamics.
  6. Diversities in sexual expression and lifestyles, including, but not limited to polyamory, swinging, BDSM, tantra.
  7. Sexual and reproductive anatomy/physiology.
  8. Health/medical factors that may influence sexuality including, but not limited to illness, disability, drugs, mental health, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, pregnancy termination, contraception, fertility, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infection, other infections, sexual trauma, injury, and safer sex practices.
  9. Range of sexual functioning and behavior, from optimal to problematic, including but not limited to common issues such as: desire discrepancy, lack of desire, difficulty achieving or maintaining arousal, sexual pain and penetration problems, difficulty with orgasm.
  10. Sexual exploitation, including sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
  11. Cyber sexuality and social media.
  12. Substance use/abuse and sexuality.
  13. Pleasure enhancement skills.
  14. Learning theory and its application.
  15. Professional communication and personal reflection skills.
  16. History of the discipline of sex research, theory, education, counseling, and therapy.
  17. Principles of sexuality research and research methods.