Constructing First Nation Women’s Sexuality: Exploring Contemporary Intersections of Health, Identity, and Culture

By Allison Reeves.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Current literature suggests that historical and continued experiences of colonization have considerable impact on Canadian First Nation¹,² women’s sexuality and sexual health. For example, First Nation women face significant sexual health disparities, including HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, in comparison to non-Aboriginal women in Canada. There exists a gap in academic knowledge regarding how First Nation women understand their sexuality and sexual health in current socio-cultural contexts, and how these knowledges fit within the current health care system. This paper contains an overview of a qualitative research project conducted with young adult (aged 18-30) First Nation women in Atlantic Canada. The research explored the diversity between pre-colonial Indigenous cultures and neo-colonial³ Aboriginal cultures in terms of women’s sexuality and sexual health practices. With the recognition of the category ‘women’ as a diverse group, the results illustrate the unique challenges faced by First Nation women in terms of sexuality and sexual health, while interrogating the intersections of their multiple forms of marginalisation. Implications include insight into how participants’ multiple identities as women and as Aboriginal, within a Euro-Christian gender regime of patriarchy, offer the potential to inform health policy and health promotion efforts aimed at decreasing health disparities and contributing to the overall health and well-being of their communities.

Keywords: Aboriginal, Sexual Health, Social Construction, Post-colonial

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.27-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 648.242KB).

Allison Reeves

MEd. Counselling Psychology Student, University of Toronto, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A recent graduate from Dalhousie University in Canada, Allison completed an MA in Health Promotion, focusing on the impact of colonization on the sexuality and sexual health of First Nation women in Canada. She is currently enrolled in the MEd Counselling Psychology programme at the University of Toronto, where she is again specializing in Aboriginal health.

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