Sexual and HIV Stigma and Global Health: Promoting Resistance and Survival Among Sexually and Gender Diverse Youth

Thursday, January 15, 2015: 3:30 PM-5:15 PM
La Galeries 6, Second Floor (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Symposium Organizer:
Peter A. Newman, PhD, University of Toronto
Stigma and discrimination targeting LGBTQ+ youth are pervasive global phenomena that have devastating impacts on health and wellbeing. Stigmatizing sociocultural and institutional contexts contribute to sexual health disparities, such as higher rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and mental health disparities, including substance use and suicide, among LGBTQ+ persons in comparison with heterosexual individuals.

Sexual stigma refers to devaluing of sexual minorities, negative attitudes and lower status afforded to non-heterosexual behaviors, identities, relationships and communities. HIV stigma refers to social and structural processes of devaluing people living with HIV and people associated with HIV. The deleterious impacts of multiple and intersecting forms of stigma may be exacerbated among youth as identity formation is central to ones developing sense of self; as a result of negotiating a stigmatized identity, many LGBTQ+ youth are placed at increased risk to their physical, social and emotional health.

This symposium will advance knowledge of stigma and its manifestations among sexually and gender diverse youth (SGDY) by:

  1. defining and exploring the concept of intersectional stigma;
  2. employing a global perspective by including ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations of SGDY across low-, middle- and high-income country contexts;
  3. focusing on the lived experience of SGDY; and,
  4. specifically linking stigmatizing processes to outcomes in the health and wellbeing of SGDY.

The symposium will also demonstrate the use of different methods, both qualitative and quantitative, in deepening our understanding of stigma in diverse cultural and geographical contexts. Each presenter will specifically address the ramifications of study findings for social work practice, policy and research with SGDY in diverse global settings.

After the presentations, the audience will be engaged in discussion with presenters to address methodological and implementation challenges of the studies in different settings as well as implications for social work research and interventions. The presenters will also compare and contrast forms, mechanisms, levels and outcomes of stigma among SGDY in the different global contexts, with implications for advancing the field of stigma and intervention research in social work.

* noted as presenting author
"Being Safe and Being Yourself Is Two Different Things": Understanding Structural Violence and Resistance Among Sexually Diverse Youth in Kingston, Jamaica
Carmen Logie, MSW, PhD, University of Toronto; Nicolette Jones, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life; Kristina Mena, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life; Annecka Marshall, University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica
HIV Stigma and Health Risks Among Sexually and Gender Diverse Youth in Thailand
Peter A. Newman, PhD, University of Toronto; Carmen Logie, MSW, PhD, University of Toronto; James Weaver, MPH, University of Toronto; Suchon Tepjan, BA, University of Toronto; Surachet Roungprakhon, PhD (cand), King Mongkut University of Technology
Sexual Stigma and Peer Victimization of Sexually and Gender Diverse Youth in Ontario, Canada: Towards a Conceptualization of "Conversion Bullying"
Sophia Fantus, MSW, University of Toronto; Peter A. Newman, PhD, University of Toronto; Marie Jolie Rwigema, MSW, University of Toronto
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