The Jules Black Sexology Collection is a comprehensive and diverse source of information on all aspects of sexuality. Professor Rosemary Coates, Emeritus Professor Beverly Whipple and Dr Warwick Williams provide their perspectives on Dr Black and his collection.

Professor Rosemary Coates
BMS, BA, BAppSc, PGDipEd, MSc, PhD

Professor Rosemary Coates established the Curtin University Sexology teaching and research program in 1979 and is currently the President of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). She continues to be actively involved in the Sexology Program through teaching and supervision of research.

The Curtin Masters program was the first comprehensive course in Sexology in Australia leading to the award Master of Sexology. Subsequently Professor Coates inaugurated the world's first Master of Forensic Sexology, again at Curtin. In 2007, Curtin University's Sexology Program won the prestigious World Association for Sexual Health Award for Excellence and Innovation in Sexuality Education.

Dr Coates pioneered sexology in Western Australia and internationally. She was Chair of the Western Australian AIDS Council during the earliest years of the pandemic. She has also been President of the Family Planning Association of WA (FPWA), an active member of Abortion Law Reform and the Campaign Against Moral Persecution and has chaired the State Committee on Publications for 17 years. Dr Coates spent a number of years as the Education Advisor to Family Planning Australia and was President of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance for 5 years. With Dr Gwen Leavesley she established the first State branch of the Australian Association for Sexuality Education, Research and Therapy (ASSERT) soon after the original was established in New South Wales. In 1986 she established the Western Australian Sexology Society. She has served as the Associate Secretary Asia-Oceania and as Vice President of WAS until 2009, when she was elected President.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Brescia and the Department of Flexible Learning, King's College, Dr Coates maintains an active interest in her various specialist areas. Amongst other things she is the author of the chapter on Australia in the International Encyclopaedia of Sexuality (edited by R. Francoeur) and of the chapter 'The clinical approach to problems with sexual function' in Sexual Health Medicine (editors Russell, Bradley and Fairley).

Coincidently, Professor Rosemary Coates was completing her Masters degree in Sexology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, when Dr Black was visiting and making his famous video of the sexological examination and the treatment of vaginismus. Unfortunately, from Rosemary's perspective, they shared the same building but did not meet at that time.



Professor Rosemary Coates.
Professor Rosemary Coates.
Image courtesy of the
School of Public Health,
Curtin University

Rosemary Coates' Tribute to Jules Black

Dr Jules Black FRCOG, FRANZCOG, was always ahead of his time. He commenced his medical education at the University of Sydney at the age of 16. His youthful entry into the complex and generally conservative profession was a precursor of things to come. After his specialist education in obstetrics and gynaecology he pioneered the cause of sexual health.

The assumption has been made that medical practitioners specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology, urology or psychiatry would be competent in understanding, diagnosing and treating sexual concerns and dysfunctions. This is a false assumption. When Jules Black took a professional interest in the sexual health of his patients he was viewed with some scepticism by his peers. It is well known that a prophet is rarely recognised in their own country. In the early years this was Dr Black's experience.

Jules Black never wavered in his commitment to improving the sexual health of his patients and enlightening his peers and the wider community. He ensured the inclusion of sexual health in medical education at both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He was also a key member of a small group of professionals who established the Australian Association for Sexuality Education, Research and Therapy. Later Dr Black became the first Australian member of the World Association for Sexology (WAS), now known as the World Association for Sexual Health. For a number of years Dr Black played a significant role as a member of the Advisory Committee and as the Secretary General/Treasurer of WAS.

Always generous and infinitely charming, Jules Black provided me with a number of opportunities that facilitated my own development in sexology. The sign of a person truly dedicated to their cause is their ability to share their knowledge, expertise and network with others. I am immensely proud and humbled by his generous donation to Curtin University's specialist collections.

The Jules Black Sexology Collection of books, journals and personal papers represents more than a history of the development of sexology in the 20th century. It is a reflection of the forward thinking and wise choices of a physician who was prepared to extend the boundaries of his profession.

Dr Black has enriched the lives of so many individuals. His legacy will be continued through the work of professional sexologists who will benefit from having ready access to this comprehensive and diverse collection.

Emeritus Professor Beverly Whipple

Dr Beverly Whipple is a leading expert in women's health issues and sexual health and the co-author of the international best seller The G-Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality. She has authored many books, a number of which are represented in this collection. Dr Whipple was named by New Scientist as one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world.

She is currently Professor Emerita at Rutgers University and has held positions as Vice President and Secretary General/Treasurer of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS); President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS); President of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT); and Director of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH).

Dr Whipple's personal collection is held by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and comprises her personal correspondence, publications, manuscripts, lectures and research material.


Dr Beverly Whipple
Dr Beverly Whipple.
Image courtesy of the
Kinsey Institute.

Beverly Whipple's Tribute to Jules Black

Dr Jules Sydney Black is an internationally known obstetrician and gynecologist, who received his medical education in Sydney, Australia and London, England. He has been very active in the medical community and in the sexual health community. He has lectured internationally about sexual health and sexual health problems since 1973. He has over 30 published articles and has authored a book, Body Talk: An A-Z Guide to Women's Health. He has extensive experience in the electronic and printed media in Australia and internationally. He has served as a consultant gynecologist to many magazines and for medical programs.

I met Dr Black when we were both on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). Dr Black served as the SSSS International Board Representative from 1983-1991, and also served on many SSSS committees. We also met at meetings of the World Association for Sexology (WAS). Dr Black served on the WAS Advisory Committee from 1985-2001. He was the Co-Secretary of WAS from 1985-1989 and the Secretary General/Treasurer of WAS from 1989-1993. He was a founding member of the Australian Association of Sexuality Educators, Researches and Therapists (ASSERT) and served as the President of the NSW Branch of AASECT from 1985-1987.

I have always enjoyed being with Jules. He is a delightful person and has always showed an interest in my research and asked stimulating questions, which helped to focus my studies. On a personal level, my husband Jim and I have enjoyed many meals and fun days with Jules and his wife Jenny. He is a shining star in the international world of sexual health.

Dr Warwick Williams

Dr Warwick Williams originally specialised in anaesthesiology. He then took up a career in psychiatry specialising in the treament of sexual problems. Dr Williams authored two well-received self-help books on sexual dysfunction aimed at the public. He has countless articles published in the medical press, on the entire spectrum of common and less-common sexual dysfunctions.

In 1976, Dr Williams was one of the founding directors of what is now named the Australian Association for Sexuality Education, Research and Therapy (ASSERT) and he has maintained an active role in the Association over many years.

Warwick Williams' Tribute to Jules Black

It is a privilege to be asked to comment on the remarkable career of Dr Jules Black.

I have known Jules since we were at school together at Sydney Boy's High, and I have watched his amazing career as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and sexual therapist evolve over the last many years.

Jules is truly one of the founding fathers of sexual therapy in Australia, and his enthusiasm, knowledge, and practical know-how have been invaluable in developing treatment for sexual difficulties to their present very high standard in Australia.

He has also devoted a huge amount of time to educating people, at all levels, from the community to post-postgraduate level, about sexuality and for this we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

He has introduced some innovative and very effective treatments for a variety of sexual problems, especially vaginismus.

When he practised obstetrics, his patients sang his praises about his comprehensive and caring approach to both antenatal care and delivery - a very personalised and unique approach.

His most recent gesture of donating his huge library of books on sexuality to the Curtin University Library will hopefully immortalise his memory, as a truly outstanding human being.



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