The racialisation and ethnicisation of sexuality and sexual problems in sex therapeutic discourse

Mulholland, Jon (2007) The racialisation and ethnicisation of sexuality and sexual problems in sex therapeutic discourse. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22 (1) . pp. 27-44. ISSN 1468-1994 [Article] (doi:10.1080/14681990600558729)


“Race” and ethnicity have emerged as “grand narratives of European modernity”, and in the process have become reified and essentialised. However, sociological evidence attests to the socially constructed nature of these phenomena, and to the manner in which this “fabrication” has been realised in co-construction with the grand narratives of gender and sexuality. Historical and sociological research points to a racialisation and ethnicisation of sexuality, and a reciprocal sexualisation of “race” and ethnicity. Occupying a central location within this production process has been sexual science and medicine. But we know very little about the ways in which “race” and ethnicity have in practice become worked into sexual scientific and therapeutic readings of sexuality and sexual problems today. This paper is concerned with outlining some of the principle contours taken by sex therapeutic attributions pertaining to the nature of “race” and ethnicity, as they are seen to impact upon sexuality and sexual dysfunction. Understanding the attributions produced in the name of “race” and ethnicity within sex therapy, and their significance for sexuality and sexual dysfunction, enables us to understand how social subjects (and hence clients) may acquire their “racial”/ethnic identities within the context provided by a particular therapeutic apparatus that communicates to clients something about who they are in “racial”/ethnic terms.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 3520
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 30 Dec 2009 06:15
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2017 12:27

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