On human sexuality: Kathy Greaves

Grace Clark, News Contributor

With penis trinkets, toys galore, Kathy Greaves, a human sexuality professor  at Oregon State University, also gives talks outside the classroom.

“Kathy is amazing,” Cate Wrege said, a senior in pre-optometry. “She’s really an earnest person, and I think the students can recognize that.”

Greaves recently returned from a conference in Vancouver BC, where she and colleagues presented on how other universities can become more like OSU in sexual health after OSU’s number one rating on the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card.

Kathy Greaves started her time at OSU as a graduate student, working for seven years to get her masters and PhD.

“And then I became a faculty member and have been doing that for 15 years,” Greaves said.  

Greaves has been teaching human sexuality for 21 years now.

According to Greaves, she came to OSU because it had a good program for her to be in and it was close to family.

“I ended up loving it. Absolutely loving it,” She said. “So that’s why I just stayed.”

Greaves had a desire to educate, to be a source for students who otherwise would not have had access.

“I know that I got a lousy sexual education when I was in school,” Greaves said. “I know that it’s something students not only need but crave, accurate information.”

Greaves has affected many people in many different ways.

“When I was a Freshman, I sat in at one class because someone else told me how great she was,” Wrege said. “I was blown away. She really brings a lot of insight into real life, beyond the subject matter.”

“Not only does she provide sexual health education to the masses, but she takes that teaching all over campus, and frequently collaborates for sexual health in events like ‘sexy talk’,” Brenda Barrett-Rivera said, a third-year grad student in the HDFS doctoral program as well as Greaves’ GTA.

Greaves used to write a column for the Barometer along with teaching, ‘Ask Dr. Sex’, which led to her giving talks such as ‘Sexy talks’ and in residential halls ‘Sex Tips and Banana Splits with Dr. Sex.’

“I’m sure there’s a lot of questions that go in the box that are jokes, but I answer them in a manner as if it was an actual question. I think it ruins the fun for them, sometimes. I think they think they’re going to shock me, but they’re not,” Greaves said. “There’s absolutely no way they can shock me at this point.”

According to Greaves, her name as Dr. Sex was completely accidental.“The Barometer gave me that title when I started writing that column. It just sort of stuck with me,” Greaves said.

According to Greaves, she loved working as Dr. Sex, as it was a very positive experience.

“I stir the pot, and I’m okay with it,” Greave said.

According to Greaves, while she has received anger and sexism from past students in class reviews, she’d rather see students be riled up and angry. To her, it means they are listening.

“She likes to think that she’s an awful human being,” Wrege said. “But really, she’s like two puppy dogs stacked on top of each other.”

According to Greaves, she stands her ground against the negative, and as a firm liberal she can seem a little forward but it is necessary.

According to Greaves, she has really enjoyed her time as a teacher. She loves walking away from a class, and knowing that to some students, she has made a difference with them.

“Just knowing that there’s something that happened in one of those classes, that altered the way that they see the world, in a more positive, open, and accepting way,” Greaves said.

According to Greaves, she is proud to contribute to OSU’s overall sexual health, and she happy to do it in a knowledgeable yet humorous way. Her goal is to have as many opportunities for students to be exposed to a sex positive culture.

Greaves will be at Mcmenamins on Monroe tonight at 7p.m. – 9p.m with Malinda Shell, where students can engage in games and get answers to questions about sex.