Thinking through sexuality

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    Summary: This article is a discussion piece on the idea of 'sexuality' within social work. The author discusses dominant models of sexuality - including those within anti-discriminatory practice theory - before going on to raise a number of problems with this perspective. The article draws upon queer, feminist and Foucaultian theories to suggest less restrictive ways of thinking through sexuality and social work. Findings: Social work has a tendency to define 'sexuality' as an essential identity with a fixed set of characteristics and social welfare 'needs'. This article argues for a reflexive account of sexuality within social work, and for the investigation of the production and use of sexuality categories within everyday professional settings. Applications: The author discusses the assessment of sexuality in cases of foster care or adoption applications by lesbians or gay men in order to highlight the practical application of these ideas. The article discusses why new ways of thinking through sexuality may be productive for social work. Copyright © 2008 Sage Publications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-82
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Social Work
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


    • Anti-discriminatory practice
    • Discourse
    • Queer theory
    • Sexuality
    • Social work


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