AMC researcher Ellen Laan received an honorary doctorate on 15 March from KU Leuven’s Faculty of Medicine. The doctorate was presented during a ceremony marking the 50 year anniversary of the university’s Institute for Family and Sexuality Sciences. Laan was recognised for her research in women’s perception of sexuality.
Ellen Laan works as clinical psychology sexologist with people who have sexual problems. Her rigorous, methodological, innovative and targeted research into how sexuality is perceived and experienced by women has earned her worldwide recognition.
Her research is strongly influenced by a bio-psychosocial approach and focuses on forming theories related to female sexuality. She has made a significant contribution to the development of sexuality as a science in a field where initially the focus was on male sexuality.
Laan is also interested and involved in the issue of sexual inequality between men and women in society. In the discourse on sexuality and women, reproductive rights are commonly examined – pregnancy, childbearing. For men, the focus is on sexual rights – pleasure. She emphasises that this sexual double standard contributes to sexual gender inequality and remains a critical advocate for changing this situation.