Author, educator and sex therapist Dr. Laurie Mintz ’82 to give International Women’s Day address

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Laurie Mintz

Dr. Laurie Mintz '82

As a student, Dr. Laurie Mintz ’82 studied psychology, won the George H. Catlin (1867) Prize, volunteered at the local rape crisis center, served as a Big Sister to local youth and was a founder of the Woman’s Network (now the Women’s Union).

When the Woman’s Network put on several cabarets in a pub, Mintz served as the MC. Foreshadowing her career as a sex therapist and educator, many of the jokes she told at these events were sexual in nature.

This month, Mintz returns to Union to talk some more about sex – and gender equality. She will deliver the International Women’s Day keynote address Thursday, March 7, in O’Brien Center (room 117) at 5 p.m.

Her talk, part of Union’s celebration of Women’s History Month, focuses on her book, Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters - And How to Get It.

Becoming Cliterate, a groundbreaking exploration of the cultural, psychological and physiological factors influencing women’s sexual pleasure, is one of two popular books written by Mintz. Drawing on extensive research and personal anecdotes, Mintz challenges societal norms and sheds light on the pervasive orgasm gap between men and women, advocating for orgasm equality as a crucial component of gender equality.

A limited number of book copies will be given away during Mintz’s talk, which will be followed by a book signing.

An emerita professor at the University of Florida who teaches “The Psychology of Human Sexuality” to hundreds of undergraduates yearly, Mintz has published over 60 scholarly works. She is a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist in private practice. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, indicating her work has had a positive national influence on the field of psychology. In 2023, Mintz was named one of Forbes “50 over 50” women innovators.

She has also been a regular guest in the interdisciplinary “Sex and Power” class, taught by Krisanna Scheiter, associate professor of philosophy, and Jennifer Mitchell '04, associate professor of English. Students in the class read portions of Becoming Cliterate and Mintz talks on Zoom with them, enabling students to ask salient questions about sex education and gender roles and expectations.

Jennifer Mitchell '04
Our students consistently comment that Dr. Mintz's visit and book are concrete things that they take with them far beyond class. International Women's Day is both a celebration of what women have accomplished and a moment to think about what we still need to work for. As such, Laurie is exceptionally positioned to bring lots of folks together for discussion and engagement. I'm thrilled that she's coming to campus and I cannot wait for her talk."
-Jennifer Mitchell '04
Assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Mellon Leadership Fellow, and associate professor of English

Mintz is excited to be part of the International Women’s Day celebration, and to return to the place where she learned so much.

“I credit the mentors I had at Union for giving me the encouragement, skills and confidence to pursue graduate school, and for thus helping me to choose a career path that I have loved,” she said. “These mentors have also served as lifelong role models for what it means to be a passionate and committed college professor.”

The campus community will also come together to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with the following events:

  • Women’s History Month Book Club (March 5, 5 p.m., Breazzano House): Dive into a discussion of Becoming Cliterate, moderated by Associate Professor of English Jennifer Mitchell ’04 and Associate Professor of Philosophy Krisanna Scheiter. Book copies are available. Please register here. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Minerva Programs and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.
  • Women of Union photo (March 8, 12:55 p.m., inside Nott Memorial): All students, faculty and staff who identify as women are invited to participate in this special group photo.
  • Women of Union reception (March 8, 1 p.m., Hale House): All students, faculty and staff who identify as women are invited to join us for good food and conversation following the photo.
  • Schaffer Library Women's History Month Exhibition: During March, visit Beuth Atrium to view “A Mutual Need for Friendship in New Surroundings: The Union College Student Wives Association and Childcare Center, 1965-1986.”
  • “A Woman in My Life” Virtual Wall Project: Throughout March, members of the Union community are invited to submit stories of women who have had profound impacts on their lives. Submissions will be published digitally on the GSWS Instagram page, @ucgsws. To participate, access our story template, customize each section, and then move your slide to the end of the presentation. Send questions to