September is Sexual Health Awareness Month, which includes World Sexual Health Day on Sept. 4 with a theme of "Love, Bonding and Intimacy."
From 1947, when Alfred Kinsey opened the doors to the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, to 1966, when William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson published the now classic "Human Sexual Response," sexual health has continued to be an integral part of our lives in the United States. The concept encompasses more than how babies are born and avoiding disease: Society's concepts of sexual health are constantly evolving and represent an essential part of our overall physical, mental, emotional and social health.
The journey we'll take you on in this month's series begins with the physical side of sexual health, including STIs/STDs, safer sex and contraception. From there, we'll discuss reproductive health. Next, we'll tackle sex and its relation to mental health. And finally, we'll explore the importance of communication about sexual health—with your partner, your family and your healthcare provider.
Sexual health begins with your own body, sexuality and relationships with partners. But importantly, good sexual health also requires educating yourself and others about safer sex, and respecting boundaries and the sexual rights we all share.