Sandra Leiblum, PhD, a pioneer in modern sex therapy and research died on January 28, 2010. Described as vibrant, generous, and irrepressible, she will be missed by colleagues and friends. Leiblum had a distinguished career that included more than 130 published research articles, 10 books, distinguished awards, and international leadership positions. Her highly revered book, Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy, is now in its fourth edition. Leiblum also authored Sexual Desire Disorders, Erectile Disorders: Assessment and Treatment, Case Studies in Sex Therapy, and her popular book on female sexuality entitled Getting the Sex You Want: A Woman's Guide to Becoming Proud, Passionate, and Pleased in Bed (co-authored with Judith Sachs).
Leiblum was Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology, Director of the Center for Sexual and Relational Health and Director of the Psychology Internship Program at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, where she was on faculty for more than 30 years. She directed the human sexuality course for medical students which was recognized as one the premier courses in medical school sexuality education in the country. In recent years she became increasingly involved in research on the effects of medical illness and menopause on female sexual function and dysfunction, the pharmacological enhancement of female sexuality, and the impact of the internet on couple relationships. Two of Leiblum's recent studies attracted national attention; the first was investigation into the causes, concomitants, and treatment of persistent genital arousal disorder, and the other regarding the aftermath of sexual abuse of boys and men by clergy.
A leader in the field of sexual health, Leiblum was the first president of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, president of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, and a fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. In addition to being honored for her excellence in teaching at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, she received the "Woman Of Distinction" Award from the Middlesex County Commission on Women; the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists Professional Standards of Excellence Award for professional contributions to the field of sex therapy; and the Masters and Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Sex Therapy and Research. Most recently, she was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, for distinguished contributions to sexuality research over a lifetime.
In May 2009 Leiblum was seriously injured in a bicycle accident while she was on vacation. She was a supporter of PHS and a respected colleague and generous friend to our faculty. Leiblum is survived by her son Jake Kassen, husband Frank Brickle, and brother Mark Leiblum.
PHOTO: Sandra Leiblum, PhD, credit: John Emerson
Back to PHS Newsletter