Dr. Marta Meana wins prestigious Masters and Johnson award
Oct. 16, 2017
Dr. Marta Meana has been awarded the prestigious Masters and Johnson Award for her extraordinary contributions to clinical sexuality and sexuality research. The awarding committee noted that Dr. Meana has made "ground breaking changes" in how we think about female sexuality. In her dissertation work in the early 1990s she proposed and found evidence for the then revolutionary idea that dyspareunia was more appropriately conceptualized as a pain disorder rather than a sexual dysfunction. Her ability to provide empirical evidence in support of this idea has led to a “proliferation of work in the area of dyspareunia/genito-pelvic pain”. Dr. Meana’s research "provided the foundation for validating the symptoms of countless distressed patients who suffered from “medically unexplainable” genitopelvic pain, which has had an enormous positive impact on clinical practice."
In 2010 the prestigious Journal of Sex Research published a paper by Dr. Meana entitled Elucidating women’s (hetero)sexual desire: Definitional challenges and content expansion. In that paper, Dr. Meana challenged the extent to which women’s sexual desire is relational in nature. She also suggested an exploration of the incentive value of sex as (partially?) independent of the experience of sexual desire and she suggested that eroticism become more of a focus in research on desire and sexuality. Her talk at the SSTAR Annual Meeting in Chicago, (2016) on erotic self focus in women was one more step toward a new way of thinking about women’s sexual desire. Other researchers, thinkers, clinicians and sex therapists have since taken up the challenge and are pursuing new avenues of exploration into women’s sexual desire and clinical work is changing as a result.
Dr. Meana’ s research acumen is evident in the over 75 peer reviewed articles and chapters she has written. Her research spans both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and have been published in prestigious journals, not only in the field of sexuality, but include the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases and the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Her writing and editing style are described as “brilliant and accessible” and those of us who have heard her present her research know that she is a gifted speaker.
Dr. Meana has received numerous awards for her teaching excellence. In recognition of her important and influential work on dyspareunia, Dr. Meana was honored with the Fred Lowy Award for Greatest Contribution to Research in Psychosomatic Medicine by a Fellow or Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto School of Medicine (1997), and in 2015 she received the James Makawa Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Psychology, Nevada Psychological Association. In 2016 Dr. Meana received the SSTAR Service Award, one of only four to receive this distinction and the first woman to do so. That award was made in grateful appreciation of the many years and the diverse capacities that Dr. Meana served SSTAR (Board Member, President, Science Chair, Presenter, Mentor…)
Dr. Meana has generously shared her knowledge, skills, wisdom, research, ideas, and her exquisite curiosity with her peers, with professionals in and outside of the field of human sexuality and with the students (undergraduate and graduate) she teaches and supervises. In many ways, including the development of new scientist/practitioners, Dr. Meana continues to contribute to the development of our field. She is an associate editor for the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Dr. Meana is currently the Dean of the Honors College at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.