Gender, Sexuality, and Health

Renamed the Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality, and Health in 2013, this group facilitates networking among researchers, graduate students, and policy makers who are interested in research and healthcare practice in the realms of gender and sexuality. The group is open to all and meets twice a year to exchange knowledge about research projects and proposals, research findings, potential sources of funding, and opportunities for training.  The group includes representatives from government, the healthcare system, academia, and the community at large. Academic members represent a variety of disciplines including medicine, nursing, education, psychology and sociology.

2020 Meeting

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 | 12:30PM nst |  Holding space and building place: reflections on building a 2SLGBTQIA+ community centre for Newfoundland and Labrador

Quadrangle co-founders Charlie Murphy and Dr. Ailsa Craig will present the history and trajectory of Quadrangle NL, a charitable organization with the mission of building a community centre to support 2SLGBTQIA+ wellbeing and the goal of providing a hub for collaborative community connections and events. The talk will start with discussion of the vision for Quad, and its mandate, then briefly outline the work of the organization thus far. We will then include discussion of how place and space inform positive community connections that support collective health and wellness, including reflection on how current contexts of social isolation provide important lessons about the non-physical dynamics of shared community space, that can inform community building work as we move forward towards the eventual goal of a brick-and-mortar location to serve the province.

Charlie Murphy (pronouns he, him, they, them) is a long time 2SLGBTQIA+ activist and queer community member of Newfoundland and Labrador. Currently residing in St. John’s NL he works as a Lead Artist at Clockwork Fox Studios an education Ed-Tech start up. He is also Co-Founder/Co-Chair of Quadrangle NL the province's first and currently only registered charity mandated to create a 2SLGBTQIA+ Community Centre for the province. For the past 11 years Charlie has worked for the community in various roles and organizations, including: PFLAG St. John’s chapter as a peer support facilitator, St. John's Pride as a Board Member, Co-founder of Raise Up Fundraising (a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for marginalized populations). He is also Past president of Planned Parenthood NL and currently works as the St. John’sNL rep for The Community Based Research Centre, which promotes the health of gay men through research and intervention development and is inclusive of bisexual and queer men (cis and trans) and Two Spirit people

Ailsa Craig is a queer and trans activist, co-founder and board member for Quandrangle NL, and Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland who is currently serving as Associate Dean (Curriculum and Programs) for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Craig is a cultural sociologist and Fulbright Scholar with interests in gender, sexuality, inequality and art whose work includes exploration of commitment in artistic careers and communities, the sociology of emotion, community service provision, and intergenerational connection and community building in trans and queer communities. Dr. Craig serves as consultant for the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, and has worked with multiple queer and trans initiatives and organizations over the years, including Xtra! Magazine, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, The LGBT Youthline, Pride Toronto, Make it Better NL (founder of initiative), Camp Eclipse, and the Trans Needs Coalition.


Friday, September 27, 2019 | Engaging in Queer Healthcare Research Translation and Mobilization Presented by Chris Shortall, M.Sc. (Medicine) Applied Health Services Research, Memorial University Chris Shortall's Master's thesis in Applied Health Services Research (MUN, Medicine) looked at the Canadian nursing curriculum and curricular policy for the inclusion of LBGTIQ/sexuality and gender identity circa 2013-2015. Chris subsequently received a CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Community Support Grant, "Hacking the Knowledge Gap" to collaborate with nurses and develop a national online educational module for nurses to learn communication skills in the areas of LBGTIQ/sexuality and gender identity health and wellness (forthcoming). Chris also published a journal article on his thesis in the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, journal Quality Advancement in Nursing Education.  Chris talked about his past and present community work in the area and his incorporating as Rainbow Health Consulting Ltd.

May 10 2019 |  Motherhood Experiences in Newfoundland & Labrador: A survey to inform public policy | At this presentation, Shannon Bedford and Emily Saunders shared the results of a large survey of motherhood that was undertaken as their PsyD research project at Memorial, focused primarily on the experience of mothers here in the province. The survey looked at demographic differences between urban and rural mothers, mothers who have a partner who works away (mobile relationships), satisfaction with healthcare services, and other factors. Shannon will present a "demographic portrait" of motherhood here in the province that is intended to validate the lived experience of mothers in informing public policy. Emily co-presented the results of her analysis of those results related specifically to access to healthcare services.

May 23 2019 |Pornography & Public Health  Valerie Webber is a doctoral student at Memorial University (Community Health and Humanities) investigating the framing of pornography as a 'public health crisis'.  She holds a Masters of Public Health from Memorial University and a Masters in Medical Anthropology from McGill University. Her undergraduate degree from Concordia University was in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality.

October 31, 2018 | Racialized encounters: Physiological and psychological impacts of racism on gay men of colour and their coping responses | Dr. Sulaimon Giwa, School of Social Work |   LINK TO SLIDES 

February 16, 2018 | Abortion Access in Newfoundland and Labrador: The (untapped) Potential of Medication Abortion| Dr. Robin Whitaker, Memorial University's Department of Anthropology 

February 28, 2017 | Is miscarriage a disability? A discussion with Aleksandra Stefanovic-Chafe

November 1, 2016 | The gendered nature of mental illness in a sample of youth probationers in British Columbia | Dr. Adrienne Peters, Department of Sociology, Memorial University |

April 1, 2016 | Deconstructing Trauma| Sue McKenzie-Mohr, Associate Professor in the school of social work at St. Thomas University in Fredericton 

March 2015 | Transgender and Childhood Julia Temple-Newhook presented on the health, well-being and support needs of transgender children and their families during social transition. 

Sexual Health Research on Workers who Commute | Zack Marshall and Gerard Yetman about sexual health research, highlighting the results of recent interviews with key informants from Newfoundland and Labrador about how best to design research that engages people who commute across provinces for work and the people in their social networks.

Strategic Positioning: Gay Men's Health & HIV Prevention May 6 2014 The Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality and Health hosted a public lecture by gay men's health activist Mikiki at Easten Edge Gallery in St. John's. This event was held on May 6, 2014 and focused on HIV prevention.

Beyond Bullying: Shifting the Discourse on LGBTQ Youth in Schools

Fat Girls and Big Guys: Gender and Weight-Loss Surgery by Dr. Julia Temple Newhook and Hilary Price, Memorial University

Funding Opportunities for Research in Women’s Health by Dr. Stephen Bornstein, Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

What do you want that for? Perceptions of Risk and Concerns with Health Privacy in an Information Era: Evidence from Newfoundland and Labrador  Dr. Larry Felt, Sociology, Memorial University

A Critical Examination of the Benefits and Risks of Breast Cancer Screening  Dr. Anne Kearney, School of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

A Burnt Out Revolutionary is Just Burnt Out: Attending to the health of LGBTQ advocates and activists Dr. Ailsa Craig, Sociology, Memorial University

Under the Rainbow: Working Towards Inclusive Communities and Healthcare for the LGBT Community  by Diana R. Deacon (Educational Specialist) and Costa Kasimos (Executive Director of Planned Parenthood – NL Sexual Health Centre).

Policy Dialogues for Making Change: Gender, Collaboration and Policy Research Processes.  Belinda Leach, University of Guelph | Dr. Leach gave a second talk as part of the Women's Studies Speakers Series (which was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at Memorial) on "Jobs for Rural Women? Gender Identities and Gender Relations in Ontario's Ruralized Auto Manufacturing Labour Market." With the Departments of Women's Studies and Sociology, the group co-sponsored a special visit by Dr. Belinda Leachof the University of Guelph.  This visit was funded in part by NLCAHR's Visiting Lecture fund. Dr. Leach gave two lectures during her visit to St. John's. 

Does Our Sex/Gender Affect Our Workplace Health? A CIHR Café Scientifique: The Research Exchange Group on Gender and Health co-sponsored with SafetyNet and the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health a CIHR Café Scientifique titled held at Bitters Pub, Memorial University campus, in October, 2010. Panelists included Dr. Nicole Power (Sociology, Memorial), Professor Katherine Lippel (Canada Research Chair, Occupational Health & Safety Law, University of Ottawa), Dr. Barbara Neis (Sociology, Memorial), and Brenda Grzetic (PhD candidate, Dalhousie). The moderator, Kathy Fitzpatrick, introduced the screening of two films, El Contrato and A Second Wind. The films were followed by a café-style discussion with the panelists.

Health Worker Migration Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa |In April 2012, as part of NLCAHR's Research Talks series, the Women's Health/ Gender and Health Research Exchange Group invited Dr. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault (Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and CIHR Research Chair in Health Human Resource Policy) to give a public lecture  on "Health Worker Migration." This event was co-sponsored by SafetyNet and coincided with a meeting of CIHR's national working group on mixed methods research on gender, environment and health.

Conferences and Workshops:

"Sex, Gender and Health: New Directions in Research," was an October 2009 conference organized and hosted by the Research Exchange Group on Women's Health/Gender and Health and funded by NLCAHR and by a Meetings, Planning and Dissemination Grant from CIHR.  Workshops before the conference addressed funding opportunities in the area of gender and health and the establishment of a network of researchers interested in the area of work-related mobility, health and gender. The conference brought together researchers, students, health decision-makers and community members to examine new research on sex and gender as it relates to the health of the body, healthy workplaces, and healthcare policy and delivery.  The keynote speakers were:

  • Dr. Zena Sharman, CIHR Institute of Gender and Health,
  • Dr. Donna Mergler, Université du Québec à Montréal,
  • Professor Katherine Lippel, University of Ottawa, and
  • Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa.

This highly successful conference featured thirty presenters and was attended by over 125 people. Dr. Christopher Loomis, President and Vice-Chancellor pro tempore, made introductory remarks.

Working Group on Mixed Methods Research: The Research Exchange Group and NLCAHR sponsored and organised a meeting of the Working Group on Mixed Methods in Research on Gender, Environment and Health in St. John's in April, 2012. The main aim of the Working Group is to develop a mixed methods research model to examine sex/gender in studies of environmental and occupational health. The Working Group on Mixed Methods is one of the working groups of the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health (GEH), which aims to contribute to the development of new approaches and methods for the integration of sex and gender in environmental and occupational health research (

The Research Exchange Group on Women's Health/Gender and Health has also sponsored student events at Memorial, including the annual Sociology Student Conference.


Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000