Recent WGS Faculty Publications

WGS core faculty member Catherine Harnois has published a co-authored article titled “When Does Differential Treatment Become Perceived Discrimination? An Intersectional Analysis in a Southern Brazilian Population.”

Abstract: Despite ideals of equality and “racial democracy,” high levels of social inequality persist in contemporary Brazil. In addition, while the majority of the Brazilian population acknowledges the persistence of racism, high proportions of socially disadvantaged groups do not regard themselves as victims of discrimination. This study seeks to shed light on this issue by investigating the processes through which individuals come to interpret their experiences of mistreatment as discrimination. We ask: (1) How frequently do respondents perceive being treated differently due to a variety of social statuses alone and in combination? and (2) What factors are associated with respondents interpreting this differential treatment as “discrimination”? Data come from an ongoing cohort investigation, which included a representative sample of adults living in the urban area of Florianópolis. Results show that 45 percent of respondents experienced mistreatment and attributed it to two or more factors, such as social class, age, gender, and race. Perceptions of mistreatment based on social class were positively correlated with perceived mistreatment due to gender, place of residence, weight, race, and the way one dresses. Regression analyses revealed that interpreting differential treatment as stemming from multiple social statuses was the strongest predictor of respondents classifying their mistreatment as discrimination. Our findings highlight the importance of disentangling perceptions of mistreatment from perceptions of discrimination and show that the relationship between the two is structured in large part by the ways in which individuals interpret their experiences at the intersection of multiple inequalities.

Full citation: Bastos, J. L., Harnois, C. E., Bernardo, C. O., Peres, M. A., & Paradies, Y. C. (2016). When Does Differential Treatment Become Perceived Discrimination? An Intersectional Analysis in a Southern Brazilian Population. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.

WGS faculty member Kristina Gupta has published an article titled “What Does Asexuality Teach Us About Sexual Disinterest? Recommendations for Health Professionals Based on a Qualitative Study With Asexually Identified People.”

Abstract: This article draws on qualitative in-depth interviews with 30 asexually identified individuals living in the United States in order to contribute to our understanding of when low sexual desire should be treated as a medical or mental health issue and when it should be treated as a benign sexual variation. The article discusses five findings of relevance to health professionals: (1) the line between a desire disorder and asexuality is not clear-cut; (2) asexually identified individuals may experience distress, so distress alone does not separate a desire disorder from asexuality; (3) asexually identified individuals may face sexual pressure from a partner or may have difficulty negotiating sexual activity with a partner; (4) asexuality does not need to be distressing, rather it can be experienced as a fulfilling form of sexuality; and (5) many asexually identified individuals believe in the usefulness of low sexual desire as a diagnostic category and support medical and mental health professionals in their efforts to develop treatments for sexual desire disorders. Based on these five findings, this article offers four concrete suggestions for health professionals working with clients with low sexual desire, whether or not those clients identify as asexual.

Full citation: Gupta, K. (2017). What does asexuality teach us about sexual disinterest? Recommendations for health professionals based on a qualitative study with asexually identified people. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 43(1): 1-14.

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