Our History

Our History and Vision

There has been a growing movement in sexuality and sexual health research away from a disease-prevention model and towards a more inclusive, public health approach that accounts for the social and cultural factors that contribute to negative sexual health outcomes. In 2001, former US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher published his Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. Acknowledging the public health implications of private sexual matters, including HIV/AIDS, STIs, unintended pregnancy, and intimate partner violence, Dr. Satcher addressed the important need for public discourse on all aspects of sexuality in the US—positive and negative.
CREGS exists to contribute significantly to that discourse with evidence-based knowledge and resources. The Center performs cutting-edge research in HIV prevention, adolescent/teen sexuality, reproductive health, and works with several community partners to study and disseminate information about sex. Prior to 2012, CREGS was known as two different centers—the National Sexuality Research Center and the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality. CREGS will continue to uphold the legacy of those institutions with important programs such as the Summer Institute on Sexuality. Started in 2001, the Summer Institute is the premiere summer program on sexuality research in the country, designed for students, researchers, and professionals interested in sexuality and sexual health.


The National Sexuality Resource Center
Founded in 2003 by San Francisco State University with support from the Ford Foundation, the National Sexuality Resource Center was designed to promote sexual literacy across the nation. Founding Director, Dr. Gilbert Herdt, led the organization in creating the Summer Institute on Sexuality, the Champions of Sexual Literacy awards, the academic journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and the Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy, among other programs.
Dr. Colleen Hoff took over as Interim Director of the National Sexuality Resource Center in late 2010. By 2011, plans were underway to make the Center the education and training arm of a consolidated sexuality center that would integrate capacity for research, education, training, and policy efforts—CREGS.


The Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality

The founding of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality coincided with the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.” This Center was a research center dedicated to studying sexuality as an anticipated, healthy developmental process of the human condition. The Center viewed sexuality as inextricably linked to social justice—one’s sexuality should never be grounds for discrimination or the denial of human rights. This Center utilized and developed innovative methodologies and creative mixed methodologies to study the many dimensions of people’s lived experiences. Founded by Dr. Deborah Tolman in 2004, Dr. Hoff became the Director in 2008.