NSEC Workshop Presenter Lorena Olvera

260343_10150205526495946_1785687_nNSEC Workshop title: Sexuality Education for Latinos: Understanding Latino culture and sexuality

NSEC Workshop Description: This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the influences of machismo, familismo, and marianismo on Latinos’ sexuality. Audience members will also learn the best practices and practical steps that service providers and educators working with Latino youth can take to educate in sexuality in Latino communities where these influences prevail.

How many times have you attended the National Sex Ed Conference?

LO: Last year was the first time I attended the conference. I was a presenter, an attendee, and a member of the planning committee. My workshop, Curtain call for sex: Using Forum Theatre in Sexuality Education, was well attended and was the best evaluated among all the conference workshops. The use of theater for sexuality education is one of my passions; the other is working with Latinos. That is the reason this year the name of my workshop is Sexuality Education for Latinos: Understanding Latino culture and sexuality.

What about your workshop are you most excited?

LO: Latinos comprise 17% of the US population and they deserve sexuality education that meets their needs and is respectful of their culture. The majority of sexuality education that targets Latinos is focused on HIV prevention and lacks an understanding of Latinos’ sexological worldview. This workshop analyzes the sexological worldview of Latinos, by analyzing the cultural values of machismo, marianismo, and familismo. By understanding these values and this sexological worldview, interventions can be more effective. I am excited that participants will learn best practices for working with Latinos in sexuality education, and decolonial feminism as a suitable strategy in the process of deconstructing Latinos’ sexological values. In understanding the origin of machismo, its influence on sexual attitudes, and by empathizing with Latinos’ sexological worldviews, participants will be better at designing culturally appropriate lesson plans when educating Latinos about sexuality.

Can you tell us a little about with whom you work, and what issues you are most interested in?

LO: My main focus is the Latino community; therefore I try to reach them through different means: radio, Facebook, and the Mexican consulate. I host “EduSex Phila” on Philatinos Radio (www.philatinos.com). This is a grassroots organization organized by the Latino community in Philadelphia for other Latinos in the US and the rest of the world and my radio show focuses on sexuality education. I also hold a Spanish-language educational Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sexpresatetv), with more than 14,000 followers, where I post about sexuality, gender equality, and relationships. I work as a volunteer at the Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia, facilitating workshops in condom use, HIV prevention, and contraception. As an Associate Chair for the National Sex Ed Conference this year, I have helped to create links between sexuality educators around the world (mainly Latin America) and the United States.

When you meet someone new how do you describe what you do?

LO: I identify as a Mexican sexuality educator who came to the US with a Fulbright scholarship. I usually explain that I am a PhD candidate in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji1X3Trt-Rs) and that my research focus is on the use of theater for sexuality education. I am proud of my field of study and I have found incredible colleagues throughout my career who motivate me to continue the work I have been doing.

Follow me on Twitter: @lorenaolvera