Who decides when people can have sex? Australian mental health clinicians’ perceptions of sexuality and autonomy

Kristi Urry, Anna Chur-Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexuality is a central aspect of human experience but there is evidence that this is largely constrained, pathologised or ignored in mental health settings. We conducted in-depth interviews with 22 psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health nurses working across a variety of settings in four Australian cities. Sexuality was most often perceived as relevant in the mental health setting when it was simultaneously constructed as dangerous. Participants located this danger in sexual expression itself or within individuals who, because of mental illness, lacked the autonomy required to successfully engage in ‘safe’ sex. We discuss these findings and their implications for research and professional practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2188-2199
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume25
Issue number13-14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mental health
  • personal autonomy
  • professional practice
  • sexual health
  • sexuality

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