Her Radio Program "Sexually Speaking" Can Be Heard Across the Country
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking. It began in September of 1980 as a fifteen minute, taped show that aired Sundays after midnight on WYNY-FM (NBC) in New York. One year later it became a live, one-hour show airing at 10 PM on which Dr. Ruth, as she became known, answered call-in questions from listeners. Soon it became part of a communications network to distribute Dr. Westheimer's expertise which includes television, books, newspapers, games, home video, computer software and a page on the Worldwide Web.
Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Westheimer was sent to a school in Switzerland at the age of ten which became an orphanage for most of the German Jewish students who had been sent there to escape the Holocaust. At 16 she went to Israel where she fought for that country's independence as a member of the Haganah, the Jewish freedom fighters. She then moved to Paris where she studied at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 where she obtained her Masters Degree in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School of Social Research. In 1970, she received a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Family from Columbia University Teacher's College.
She worked for Planned Parenthood for a time and it was that experience that prompted her to further her education in human sexuality by studying under Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. She later participated in the program for five years as an Adjunct Associate Professor. She has also taught at Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Adelphi University, Columbia University and West Point.
Currently Dr. Westheimer is an Adjunct Professor at N.Y.U. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and in addition to having her own private practice, Dr. Westheimer also leads regular seminars for residents and interns in pediatrics on adolescent sexuality at Brookdale Hospital which is affiliated with Downstate Medical Center. She frequently lectures at universities across the country and has twice been named "College Lecturer of the Year."
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