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What Degree Do You Need To Be A Sexologist

Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by Fola Shade

If you’re interested in studying sexology and becoming a sexologist, the first step is deciding what degree you need. Sexology can be studied at both the undergraduate and graduate level, with Bachelor’s degrees in sexology being more common. If you’re looking for an entry-level position as a sexologist, it’s best to start by getting a Bachelor’s degree in psychology or social work, as these fields are closely related to sexology.

Depending on your background and education, you may be able to start your career as a sexologist with just a bachelor’s degree (or even high school diploma). However, most employers prefer to hire people who have completed an advanced degree program such as a Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality or similar program at an accredited university. If you plan on working in government agencies like CDC or FDA then having certification from one of these agencies will also help boost your chances of getting hired.

How to become a sexologist

What is a Sexologist?

A sexologist is a professional who studies human sexuality and how it affects our lives. They work with individuals to help them improve their sex lives, as well as couples and families who want to learn about intimacy. They are also often called “sex therapists,” because they treat problems related to sexual dysfunction.

How to Become A Sexologist

Sexology is defined as the scientific study of sexuality, and can be examined from many different angles. A sexologist in general studies sexual desires, sexual function, and sexual behaviors, but there are a variety of paths that can teach you how to become a sexologist.

Numerous Paths to Becoming a Sexologist

Sexology is the study of a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around their own or others’ sexual behavior from a contextual standpoint. The sociological viewpoint is concerned with how individuals engage during sexual encounters, sexual preferences, and how culture & community affects these behaviors. Part of getting a sexology degree is learning about the emotional and systemic components that effect sexual performance.

In private practice or clinics, sexologists frequently address issues like identity and / or sex-related dysfunctions such as anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction, pelvic pain, and ejaculation control.

Studying the field in which you are most interested and where you believe you can make a difference is a key to becoming a sexologist and helping others learn more about their sexuality in general. 

Education Requirements to Become a Sexologist

There aren’t many degree programs specifically designed for sexologists. Since sex may be researched through a variety of academic fields, you can become a sexologist by earning a variety of graduate degrees. A degree in physiology, biology, public health, anthropology, social psychology, or women’s studies can also be used to become a sexologist in addition to the degrees in psychology, sociology, and medicine already mentioned.

To become a sexologist, you must earn a doctoral, master’s, or other advanced degree in a subject that allows you to conduct sexuality research. Because sexual behavior is influenced by biology, psychology, and the society one lives in, a complete understanding of sexual behavior involves information from a variety of perspectives.

Do Sexologists Need Certification?

Several organizations provide a route to getting a sexology degree, even though sexology is not a profession that is regulated in the United States. Some places for a sexology degree includes the Therapist Certification Association and the American College of Sexologists. 

Typical requirements include:

  • An advanced degree,
  • A certain number of additional hours of training in the field of sexuality and sex-related topics,
  • A certain number of hours having worked in the field of sexology,
  • Clinical sexologist’s supervision for your sexology degree.

A Career of a Sexologist

Depending on their chosen field, a sexologist’s degree can differ a lot when compared to other colleagues. Most sexologists will dedicate their work to doing one or more of these things:

  • Study topics related to sexuality,
  • Work as a clinician with clients facing sexual problems,
  • Teach about sex and sexuality in an academic setting (i.e., school or university),
  • Supervise other sexologists interested in getting practice and certification in this field,
  • Work with the wider population as a sex educator,
  • Speak on the topic of sex for other professionals in similar fields.

The Many Avenues to Becoming a Sexologists

From a psychological perspective, sexology observes a person’s thoughts and feelings about their own sexual activity or the sexual activity of others. The sociological perspective focuses on how people interact in their sex lives, their sexual preferences, and how society impacts these behaviors. A sexologist studying sex from a medical point of view tests how certain drugs affect sexual function.

Professional sexologists often tackle topics such as sexual identity – including gay, lesbian, and bisexual identity – in their practices. Clients also frequently seek out sexologists for dysfunction around sex including anorgasmia, pelvic pain, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation control.

Thus, the pathway to becoming a sexologist is to study the discipline you’re most interested in, and through which you feel you can be most helpful to your clients.

What Degree do you Need to Become a Sexologist?

There are very few explicitly dedicated sexologist degree programs available. Fortunately, the fact that sex can be studied through many disciplines means that you can become a sexologist via a number of graduate degrees. In addition to the degrees discussed above – psychology, sociology and medicine – you can also become a sexologist by getting a degree in physiology, biology, anthropology, social psychology, public health, or women’s studies.

Basically, to become a sexologist, you need to attain a doctoral degree, master’s degree, or another advanced degree in a discipline that provides opportunity to research in the field of sexuality. Getting a full picture of sexual behavior requires input from many angles – because, after all, sexual behavior is shaped by biology, psychology, and the society a person chooses to live in.

How to become a sexologist

How to Become a Certified Sexologist

While sexology is not a regulated profession in the United States, there are some organizations that offer a path to becoming a certified sexologist. They include The American College of Sexologists and the Therapist Certification Association. These organizations have a list of requirements that you must meet in order to become a certified sexologist.

Requirements generally include:

  • An advanced degree
  • A specific number of additional hours of training in sexuality and sex-related topics
  • A specific number of hours having worked in the field of sexology
  • Supervision with a clinical sexologist

What is Included in the Sexologist Career Path?

A sexologist career path includes:

  • Studying sexuality-related topics
  • Working as a clinician with people who are dealing with sexual problems
  • Teaching about sex and sexuality in an academic setting such a school or university
  • Supervising other sexologists who are interested in getting practice and certification in the field
  • Working with the general population as a sex educator
  • Getting paid to speak on the topic of sex at conferences for other professionals in related fields

How is a Sexologist Different From a Sex Coach?

The work of a sexologist can look very similar to that of a sex coach – or it can also be very different. If a sexologist focuses on the field of medical research, their career is not likely to include helping people hands-on with their sexual concerns.

A sex coach, on the other hand, is rarely engaged in research and instead focuses on working with individuals, couples, and groups to enhance their sex lives and self-esteem around sex and sexuality.

One cross over in their career paths is training – both sexologist and sex coaches can offer sessions or classes to clients or other professionals.

If you’d like to learn more about how to become a sexologist, reach out to any of the linked organizations above.

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