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Sexuality, Gender & Justice

Gender and sexuality, both individually and together, make up major centres around which social inequality is organised. In most societies, women are fundamentally disadvantaged relative to men – in relation to education, employment, health, social wellbeing and other factors. Similarly, gender and sexual minorities - regardless of identification - face prejudice, stigma, discrimination and abuse – even in settings where legal frameworks should protect their rights.

All over the world, gender and sexual violence is increasingly visible, whether in the form of state sanctioned violence, civil conflict and war, or domestic and intimate partner violence. Even in societies that have undertaken legal and social reform, the situation is bleak, with progress towards the attainment of gender and sexual minority rights being rolled back in the face of conservative political backlash.

Within this context, what can be done to advance protection for those who are discriminated against: what kinds of policy change are necessary, and which programmes and interventions work best? At what levels, and with which actors does advocacy and other kinds of work need to take place? And how can we safeguard against the progress made at one moment in time being undermined and turned back at the next?

The gender, sexuality and justice stream of work within the Practical Justice Initiative addresses difficult issues such as these. With a focus on lived experience, education and rights, it aims to open up dialogue about some of the most pressing issues facing us at the present time, including: the everyday experiences of sexual and gender minorities; ideologies of men and masculinity; young people and sexuality; sex and relationships education; and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Research Areas

Dr Toby LeaYoung people from gender and sexual minorities are especially prone to anxiety, depression and, in the worst case, suicide. Many of these problems are attributable to rejection at home, in school, and in the community. Despite this, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people successfully navigate the challenges of adolescence and attain similar levels of health and well-being as their heterosexual peers. But what is it that supports young people in this process, and what are their interests and needs?

In 2012, a group of professionals, community workers, academics and practitioners from across the fields of health, education, community work, HIV, sexuality, gender and cultural studies came together to establish the Australia Forum on Sexuality,

Colleagues within the Centre for Social Research in Health and the UNSW Practical Justice Initiative are working closely with the Family Planning Alliance Australia - the nation’s peak body in reproductive and sexual health – to develop the first national Position Statement of Relationships and Sexuality Education in schools.

Culture, Health & Sexuality provides a high quality environment in which to publish internationally relevant, cutting edge research on culture, health and sexuality. Published monthly (12 issues a year) in association with the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS), the journal is in its 18th year of year of publication.

Review the wide range of publications and links in this stream of work.

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