Medicalization of Sexuality

Dal 10 Luglio 2017 al 14 Luglio 2017 dalle ore 09:00 alle ore 18.30 presso Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum

International Summer Course in Bioethics

The 16th International Summer Course in Bioethics is organized by the School of Bioethics of the Pontifical Ateneo Regina Apostolorum. After an introductory week on Bioethics from July 3-7, the title of the second week course from July 10-14 is “The Medicalization of Sexuality.” The summer course is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights.

Medicine and medical interventions are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. This progressive presence has led to extending the concept of health to a “medicalization of life,” where everything—including expectations—is aimed at pursuit of health.  It has become a value which legitimizes any types of intervention, be they medical, surgical or in terms of social health policy.

Peter Conrad describes the phenomenon of medicalization as the tendency of posing any problem in medical terms, using a medical language to describe it, and adopting a medical framework for understanding or using a medical intervention to treat it.

Another typical phenomenon of our times is the progressive presence and pervasiveness of sexuality. Some speak of “sexualization” of our culture and our daily lives. Medicalization and sexualization meet to generate a growing but little studied phenomenon: the “Medicalization of Sexuality.”

On the one hand, there is a widespread distortion regarding the human meaning of sexuality, with certain trivialization and manipulation, which leads to its medicalization. On the other hand, the general phenomenon of medicalization contributes to further exploitation and trivialization of sexuality.

The course offers an interdisciplinary study on the phenomenon of medicalization of sexuality to help understand its causes and consequences.  Thus, it hopes to offer valid instruments for a correct management of the social problem, both for one’s personal life and for general education, especially for the younger generation.

 In view of the objectives, we will first examine the phenomenon of medicalization in general followed by the specific case of medicalization of sexuality. At the same time, the human reality of sexuality, with its meanings and implications, will be studied in-depth. We will analyze in detail the various applications in medicine as part of sexuality and fertility—those that can truly be considered “medical” and those we might call “medicalized.”

Lectures and topics:


Course coordinator: Prof. Gonzalo Miranda, LC


General Information




16th International Summer Course in Bioethics – 2017
Medicalization of Sexuality
Date Hour Title Teacher
10/07/2017 09:00-09:15 Greetings Joseph Tham
09:15-09:45 Introduction: Medicalization and Sexualization Gonzalo Miranda
09:45-11:00 Sociocultural Phenomenon of Medicalization Antonio Maturo
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 Economic Factors of Medicalization Antonio Astuti
12:30-13:00 Current Ideologies and Theories of Sexuality Claudia Navarini
13:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:00 Group Activities
16:00-17:00 Gender, Body and Sexuality Raffaella Ferrero Camoletto
17:00-17:15 Break
17:15-18:15 Pansexualization in a “Liquid” Society Tonino Cantelmi
11/07/2017 09:00-10:00 The Biology of Sexual Differentiation Francisco Ballesta
10:00-11:00 Sexuality and the Brain Massimo Gandolfini
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 Medicalization of Sexuality in Islam Dariusch Atighetchi
13:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:00 Group Activities
16:00-17:00 Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition Mirko D. Garasic
17:00-17:15 Break
17:15-18:15 Philosophical Anthropology of Human Sexuality Gonzalo Miranda
12/07/2017 09:00-10:00 The Christian Vision of Human Sexuality Gonzalo Miranda
10:00-11:00 Biology and Physiology of Sexual Disorders Francisco Ballesta
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 The Mechanization of Love Mirko D. Garasic
13:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:00 Medicalization of Male Sexuality Stefano Lauretti
16:00-17:00 Medicalization of Female Sexuality Emanuela Lulli
17:00-18:15 Film Forum
13/07/2017 09:00-10:00 Enhancement in the Area of Sexuality Francesa Giglio
10:00-11:00 Medicalization, Medical Products and Responsibility for the Patients, the Environment and Future Generations Margit Spazeneger
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 Transexualism Maurizio Faggioni
13:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:00 Group Activities
16:00-17:00 Group Activities
17:00-17:15 Break
17:15-18:15 Legal and Political Issues in Medicalization of Sexuality Simone Pillon
14/07/2017 09:00-10:00 Medicalization of Sexuality Gennaro Bruno
10:00-11:00 Commodification of the Female Body Lourdes Velázquez
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 Culture, Science and Anthropology Evandro Agazzi
13:00-15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:30 Group Activities
16:30-17:00 Break
17:00-18:15 Final Evaluation


Scholarship application for university students

30 full scholarships covering to the tuition fees of one week of bioethics course are available for students studying in a university.  Students can apply to attend one or both weeks of the summer course, please specify the preferences in the application.  Applicants will be selected based on academic excellence and personal interest in the subjects.  Applications must be made to [email protected] by April 15, 2017 and they will be informed about the result of this application by April 28, 2017. To apply, they must submit the following documents:

1)      Curriculum Vitae.

2)      GPA average of previous university years up to the point of application.

3)      One letter of reference.

Come arrivare: Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum


Tuition Fees

Payment can be made in the following ways:


Standard fee One week €325
Both weeks €550
One day of conference during the second week.  CME credits requested €65
Special fee:Priests, religious, students in bioethics, students of ISSR, alumni of APRA, doctoral students in bioethics, Members of Italian Assoc. of Andrology. Groups of 6 or more*. One week €250
Both weeks €400

*Group registration is to be done by the person in charge of the group. The one in charge should:

  1. a) Submit a presentation letter for the group to the general secretary of the Ateneo, containing the names of all the members and the required documentation (registration form, ID, etc.) for each member.
  2. b) Pay the all the members’ fees at one time.

The deadlines to register and pay for the course are July 3 for Module I and July 10 for Module II. We will not accept registration for those who apply for credits (ECTS) after these dates.
Payment can be made at the counter of the Administration during the hours open to the public, or by bank transfer.

To obtain ECTS credits:

Those who wish to follow the course and obtain academic recognition (obtain European credits ECTS):

Secretariat of the School of Bioethics
Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum
Via Aldobrandeschi, 190
00163 Rome, Italy

Without obtaining ECTS credits:

Those who wish to follow the course only (without need of certificate of European credits ECTS):


For lodging close to the Athenaeum, please contact:


The university has an internal restaurant.

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