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Iris Olson ’17 Addresses Lack of Oversight in Sex Toy Industry

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​Iris Olson ’17 earned a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with a 3D emphasis. As a student, they participated in a variety of activities and IGs (interest groups) at Antioch College including the Queer Center, Month of Sex, and Sex Week. After Antioch, Olson obtained a Master of Public Heath from the Boston University School of Public Health.

Iris Olson ’17 with pet snake, Fallopian.

Today, Olson is a passionate reproductive health professional working to support LGBTQIA, BDSM, and polyamorous health efforts. Their most recent work includes an op-ed, “Dildo or Dildon’t – A Plug for Sex Toy Regulation in the U.S.,” published by the Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal. The article is related to some of the work that Olson worked on for Month of Sex at Antioch in collaboration with Julia Bates’17.

Olson is currently Manager of the Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation at University Pittsburgh, and has served as a member of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Transgender Health Advisory Group on the since 2019.

“The entire experience at Antioch gave me a foundational basis through intersectional theories, social justice, and activism that impacts my current work in the research world and how I go about my life daily,” says Olson. They cite the influence of faculty, including Michael Casselli, who helped them on an individual and academic level to pursue interests in sexual and reproductive health and justice.

Read Olson’s piece and learn more about their impact on policy and oversight issues which would address potential negative health effects for more than half of the U.S. adult population.