'Desire lines: 'Queering' health and social welfare'

Stephen Hicks, Katherine Watson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article considers how knowledge about lesbians and gay men is produced in health and social welfare texts. It looks at the consequences of a reliance upon the liberal 'ethnic model' of sexuality. The authors provide a critique of 'anti-discriminatory practice' versions of sexuality categories which, in their view, assert the liberal model at the expense of ideas found in the sociological traditions of gay liberation, lesbian feminist, interactionist and queer/postmodern theories. Through a queer reading of health and social welfare texts specifically addressed to sexuality, the article considers the hierarchy of sexual knowledges which promote heteronormativity; the reliance upon fixed identity models of sexuality; the functionalist view of a "gay culture"; the silencing of lesbian feminism; and the traditionally gendered and fetishistic versions of 'the lesbian' produced. The authors argue against merely 'adding in' lesbians and gay men, and in terms of practice, encourage a reflexive engagement by all practitioners with the ways in which these dominant discourses concerning sexuality populate and discipline knowledges within health and social welfare. © Copyright Sociological Research Online, 2003.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSociological Research Online
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Anti-discriminatory practice
    • Education
    • Gay men
    • Health
    • Lesbians
    • Nursing
    • Queer
    • Sexuality
    • Social welfare
    • Social work


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