Justin A. Sitron, PhD
- Associate Professor
- Psychology & Mental Health
- Gender & Sexuality
Programs I Teach
- Human Sexuality Studies (PhD)
- Human Sexuality Studies (MEd)
- Social Work (MSW) & Human Sexuality Studies (MEd or PhD)
- Human Sexuality (MEd) & Public Administration (MPA)
- Clinical Psychology (PsyD) & Human Sexuality Studies (MEd)
- Human Sexuality (MEd) & School Counseling Certificate
- PhD, Human Sexuality (2008)
Widener University (PA)
- BS, Education (2000)
Villanova University (PA)
- BA, Spanish Language and Literature (1999)
Villanova University (PA)
As a teacher, I educate; I do not instruct. When considering the word education from an etymological point of view, its roots are Latin and are related to the words educare and educere, both of which contain the root duc, meaning '"to lead." As an educator, I lead. I have learned in my years as an educator that my role in the classroom is one where I facilitate and create learning opportunities and experiences for my students.
Experimentalist and constructivist approaches to education ground my approach in the facilitation of student learning. I do not find it effective to spend time in the classroom providing adult learners with extensive specific content adult learners can explore much of that on their own (Knowles, 1984). Instead, I aim to provide my students with experiences in the class that will encourage them to engage with the content, think critically about its implications, and develop the skills they need in to be graduate-level practitioners. As such, I treat my students as free-thinking, intelligent, and self-directed learners, while simultaneously providing a structure and venue to facilitate their professional growth and development. While educators of any kind must recognize the human being at the center of learning and constructivist approaches to education to make learning individualized, transformative learning theory offers a more guided approach to students' development.
Rather than offering students the complete opportunity to make their own meaning of their learning, I believe it is my role to guide their development of a disposition that understands, appreciates, and responds to the diversity respectfully and in a way that puts the student's or client's perspective first. I manage the classroom environment and design the activities and assignments to provide students every opportunity to expand their knowledge, practice skills, and explore the ways in which they know things. I aim to develop students that are sensitive, receptive, reflective educators, and prophetic thinkers who thrive in a diverse and ever-changing world.
I identify as an educator, a sexologist, and an interculturalist. As such, my research agenda is focused on combining these professional identities. As an educator, my interest lies in the development of curricula, interventions, and in the evaluation of sexuality education in communities, schools, and professional settings.
As a sexologist, I am incredibly interested in the implications of sexual diversity on professionals' practice, whether they are working as educators, counselors/therapists, or researchers. As an interculturalist, I am interested in exploring the role that intersecting cultures play in the provision of service to individuals and groups that are culturally different from that of the provider. Each of these interests combines with the others throughout my research agenda. The focus of my scholarship is the measurement of the guided development of dispositions and skills in sexologists that reflect culturally sensitive practice that is responsive to sexological diversity. Sexological diversity is a term that references all aspects of human sexuality and their many iterations and facets, the variety of sexual expression, identities, and the many ways they manifest in individuals, societies, and cultures or subcultures. Historically, scholars have struggled to measure professional training designed to develop sensitivity to this diversity. I am working to define, develop, and understand sexological worldview, a construct that explains people's varied perspectives on human sexuality that is informed by their life experience, socialization, and cultural background.
In addition, I am moving toward publishing and presenting further on the construct's use in approaches to education and training. Until now, the Intercultural Development Continuum (Hammer et al., 2003) and the related Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) have been used to inform and evaluate training that is done with human service professionals to develop intercultural skills and dispositions. I have developed several learning activities, assignments, and other ways to engage students in the development of a sexological worldview that is interculturally sensitive.
- Sitron, J.A., & Dyson, D.A. (2012). Validation of sexological worldview: A construct for use in the training of sexologists in sexual diversity. Sage Open, 2(1), 1–16.
- Sitron, J.A., & Dyson, D.A. (2009). Sexuality attitudes reassessment (SAR): Historical and new considerations for measuring its effectiveness. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 4(2), 158–177.
- Naisteter, M.A., & Sitron, J.A. (2010). Minimizing harm and maximizing pleasure: Considering the harm reduction paradigm for sexuality education. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 5(2), 101–115.
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT); Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS)
- Outstanding Dissertation Award, Center for Education, Widener University (2008)
In the Media
- Widener Professor and Alum Publish Article in American Journal of Sexuality Education
Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services Justin Sitron and alum Li Lock '19 recently published an article, titled Sexological Worldview Development Explained by the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, in the American Journal of Sexuality Education.
Sexological worldview is the lens through which someone sees and makes meaning of the sexual world around them. Their research explored whether the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) explains the stages of someone’s sexological worldview development across a continuum of dualist to relativist perspectives and ways of interacting with others who are similar or different.
Sitron, an associate professor, interviewed 30 sexuality professionals and students in the US and found that the participants’ sexological worldview development could be explained using the DMIS framework.