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Educator • Advocate • Author

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Lisa Speidel, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Department at the University of Virginia. She is also a Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Dr. Speidel teaches Human Sexualities; Men and Masculinities; Gender-Based Violence; Pleasure Activism; Race and Power in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Intro to Gender and Sexuality Studies. She also teaches Women’s Self-Defense as a credit based course. 

Dr. Speidel’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, social class, sexual orientation, ability, multiculturalism and social justice. She started working with these issues through co-teaching Multicultural Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia for 11 years. Her involvement with teaching this class led to implementing trainings on diversity and multiculturalism for teachers, administrators, and social services organizations. Her research also includes examining sex education, bisexuality, masculinities, intersectionality, and the impact of self-defense training on racial and gender identity. 

Her previous employment includes Training Coordinator at the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) in Charlottesville, Virginia for nine years and Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Outreach Coordinator at UVA’s Women Center for three years. She has also taught self-defense classes for the community and credit-based courses at UVA for 30 years. Along with two colleagues, she is developing a new self-defense program that focuses specifically on acquaintance assault called R.E.A.L. Self-Defense for Women. 

Dr. Speidel’s approach to teaching and training is reflective of her overall commitment to social justice and change through education. As she facilitates the learning process, she pays attention to group dynamics and tries to create a supportive environment for all participants, within which they feel safe to take risks. She emphasizes respect in the classroom; both respect from and for the participants as a format to encourage the sharing of their knowledge and experiences, which may be considerably different from her own but may serve as a resource for the intellectual growth of the participants. She does not see her role as a flawless expert, but as someone engaged in reciprocal learning and dialogue with participants. Her approach also includes the promotion of thinking in ways that participants may never have expected and being open to the experience. She believes that participants learn when they engage with the material across different modalities and contexts, and her trainings consist of actively involving participants in experiential application and discussion. 

Articles About Dr. Speidel: 

Anne Bromley, (2020) Award Winning Teachers Share Their Secrets, UVA Today

Elizabeth Derby, (2020) Many angles: Lisa Speidel’s new book talks about happy sex and more, Cville Weekly

Whitelaw Ried, (2019) ‘Shout-Out’ From UVA Quarterback Bryce Perkins Shocked UVA Professor, UVA today

Anne Bromley, (2017) Courses Challenge What It Means to “Be A Man,” UVA Today

Radio Interviews:

Apropos of Something Podcast, 2018:

WTJU, (2020). The State of Sex Education in America

Why We Theater on the Broadway Podcast Network (2020). Usual Girls and Femme Sex and Sexuality Part 1

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