The Center for Sex Research appointed its fifth director at the start of Fall 2005 semester after the former director resigned.
Jacob Hale, a philosophy professor, was named the new director of the Center for Sex Research after the former director James Elias, a sociology professor, resigned who according to Hale did not have enough time to run the center.
“Jacob Hale has been connected with the center to some capacity and he has had prior interest in it,” said Gordon Nakagawa, associate dean of the College of Humanities. “Future plans (for the center) remain to be seen. Plans are still pending.”
He said he strongly advocates the relationship between the Center for Sex Research and the Bullough Collection found in the special collections department of the Oviatt Library. The center was founded more than 20 years old.
“The center has a strong relationship with that collection,” Hale said. “Besides Vern Bullough, the man who founded the collection, James Elias, also made notable donations to the collection. It is really important to make sure and support the collection.”
Tony Gardner, curator of the special collections, said he frequently worked with individuals from the center.
“Jacob Hale is great,” Gardner said. “The collection supports research and curriculum and the center.”
Hale said the center, once located in Sierra Tower 203, currently does not have an official office visitors can go to. Hale added, however, that he will be moving forward with projects for the future.
“For future plans, I will talk to the members and see what the center will want to do for short term, the rest of the school year and for the next three to five years,” Hale said. “The next move will be to start working seriously on fundraising.”
Hale said he met Elias at a 1995 conference about transgender and cross dressing that was sponsored by the Center for Sex Research.
“It was the first academic conference that involved transgender people presented on two different levels, transgender people and the scholars,” Hale said. “After this conference, other conferences got past the idea of separating the two and presented it in an equitable way of transgender academics.”
Hale has also attended a conference on pornography.
“The conference was about the different facets of pornography,” Hale said. “It included film analysis, literary analysis and working conditions.”
Along with attending many conferences on sexuality, Hale has also put time into researching a variety of topics on sexuality including cross dressing and transgender, which he found information about in articles offered in the Bullough Collection.
Hale graduated from the University of North Carolina with his Ph.D. at 29. He taught several sections of philosophy, including the philosophy of sexual ethics and feminism, at CSUN since 1991.
Over the years, Hale has attended many different conferences related to sexuality.
“One conference was about sex work,” Hale said. “It was an interdisciplinary conference of social science research. The topics ranged from lap dancers to prostitution to the porn industry. Not just scholars participated but many people from the adult industry also participated.”
Hale said his interest in sex work attributed to his eventual appointment as the new director of the center.
He said that the center is not funded by the university but is supported by donations and fundraising.
Although the center has been moved from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences to the College of Humanities, Stella Theodoulou, the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, supports the work done through the center.
“There wasn’t any faculty who could run it,” Theodoulou said. “The center should be where its director is. It moved because Hale is in the College of Humanities. It is a worthwhile institute.”
Michael Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.