Our history


IASSCS initially was formed as association in July 1997, following the hosting of its first conference in Amsterdam – “Beyond Boundaries: Sexuality Across Cultures,” – which was jointly hosted by the University of Amsterdam and the University of Chicago. This conference addressed a variety of research topics and issues pertaining to the social and cultural study of sexuality, and brought together scholars from the disciplines of anthropology, history, sociology, health policy and cultural and gender studies. It was noted at that time that no organization existed which provided an international forum for the interdisciplinary, social, and cross-cultural studies of sexuality.


The impetus behind the creation of IASSCS was the perceived need to address and rectify the fragmentation of sexuality studies around the globe, to provide a forum for supporting the field of sexuality research and training as a legitimate area of scholarship, and in the process, to promote principles of academic freedom, social justice and human rights, with a focus on sexual rights and gender equality.