Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Last modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chaz Bono's Themester visit highlights Sexploration Week at IU Bloomington

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Sept. 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The fifth annual Sexploration Week at Indiana University Bloomington, Oct. 1 to 4, once again offers a positive view of sexuality and gender through such activities as orientation-inclusive speed dating, free and anonymous HIV testing, IU Secrets, films and a talk by celebrity and transgender activist Chaz Bono.

Bono's talk, "Transition: How I Became a Man," is part of the College of Arts and Sciences' Themester, "Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality," and will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at the IU Auditorium.

Sociology professor Martin Weinberg said Bono's visit fits well with Themester and Sexploration. Bono's book, "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man," talks about his life growing up as the only child of legendary performers Sonny Bono and Cher, which included well-publicized struggles with drug addiction. Now, he might be the most well-known transgendered person in the country, with a new book, a documentary and a stint on the popular show "Dancing With the Stars."

"I don't usually watch 'Dancing With the Stars,' but I was amazed that people were so hateful," said Weinberg, whose two courses Constructing Sexuality and Sexual Diversity are part of the Themester curriculum bundle. "I was so surprised that people would make death threats because their children might see someone on TV who might be different."

Weinberg teaches courses about sexuality, often discussing the tremendous diversity in sexual behavior and gender expression as well as the judgments people make about behavior that is different from their own. The sexuality- and gender-positive focus of Sexploration, he said, is educational, not just fun. Kathryn Brown, health and sexuality educator at the IU Health Center, agreed.

"I visit numerous academic classes on campus to teach about sexual orientation, gender identity and other sexuality topics, and I'm continually surprised at the questions that students ask," Brown said. "It's clear that not only are they curious about these topics and people's lives, but many are uninformed or come to these topics with deeply held beliefs that make it difficult for them to accept these types of differences. These Sexploration week events bring these issues out of the classroom to the entire student body and local community."

Here are the Sexploration Week main events:

Related activities later in the month:

Sexploration Week is sponsored by The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction; Union Board; IU Health Center; Health and Wellness Education at the IU Health Center; Positive Link; IU Themester: "Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: From Molecules to Morality"; Department of Sociology; GLBT Student Support Services; IU Cinema; Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington; and Planned Parenthood.

For more information about Sexploration Week, contact Brown at 812-855-7338 or

The main sponsors of Bono's Themester visit are: IU Themester: "Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: From Molecules to Morality"; Department of Sociology; Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction; GLBT Support Services; and Sexploration Week.

For information about Bono's visit, contact Weinberg at 812-855-7208 or, or Jennifer Bass at 812-855-7686 or

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