About Sexual and Gender Health

Our purpose: Revolutionizing the sexual and gender climate by eliminating barriers and advancing healthy sexuality.

Our potential: Leadership in sexuality research, education, clinical care, and advocacy to promote positive sexual and gender health for all.


Advancing groundbreaking discovery through bio-psycho- social gender and sexuality research.

Clinical Care

Develop, provide and promote evidence-based best clinical care.


Advancing a nationally and internationally recognized center for sexual and gender health education.

Advocacy and Public Policy

Advocating for sexual and gender rights.

World-class leadership for sexual and gender well-being.

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH) is one of the largest clinical, teaching, and research institutions in the world specializing in human sexuality. We have a strong research agenda in sexual aggression and compulsive sexual behavior, transgender health, relationship and sex therapy, and women’s sexual health that has been supported by millions of dollars in state and federal funding. We have developed innovative and effective treatment approaches to sexual problems. ISGH has led the way nationally and internationally in crucial, often controversial, sexual issues and has worked with local, national, and international health agencies to advance public health policies promoting sexual health.

History: The formation of the program started to take shape June 2-3, 1970, with the first Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Medical School partnered with the Lutheran Church to create the Program in Human Sexuality (PHS) and assigned it the task of teaching and conducting research in the field of human sexuality. A medical school curriculum was established that included a SAR with lectures and readings. In 1973, PHS began offering therapeutic and educational services to individuals with sexual dysfunctions and other relationship problems, and in 1977 the program became a unit within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. In 2021, PHS was elevated into an Institute within the University of Minnesota Medical School. The Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH) was named on May 20, 2021.

umn sexual gender health symbolDebuting with the new name is a symbol intended to highlight the Institute’s multidisciplinary approach to sexual and gender health:

  • Circle: Develop, provide and promote evidence-based best clinical care.
  • Hourglass: Advancing groundbreaking discovery through bio-psycho-social gender and sexuality research.
  • Triangle: Advocating for sex and gender rights
  • Rectangle: Advancing a nationally and internationally recognized center for sexual and gender health education

These elements come together to create the symbol that reflects the work being done at the newly named Institute for Sexual and Gender Health.