Gender, Sexuality, and Health

Renamed the Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality, and Health in 2013 and established in 2006 as the Research Exchange Group on Women’s Health/ Gender and Health, this group facilitates networking among researchers, graduate students, and policy makers who are interested in gender, sexuality, and health research. The group is open to all and meets bi-annually 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.

Spring 2019 Lecture:

April 11, 2019 | 12:30pm NST | 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.

Fall 2018 Lecture:

October 31, 2018- Racialized encounters: Physiological and psychological impacts of racism on gay men of colour and their coping responses LINK TO SLIDES

Gay men of colour are a marginalized group in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in Canada. Growing bodies of research suggest that, mirroring the broader society, racism is a structural feature within these communities. Despite gay men of colour’s pervasive exposure to racism, there is a dearth of scholarship focusing on its negative physical and mental health effects. In this presentation, Dr. Giwa presented findings of his qualitative research, the first in Canada, to examine the impact of and coping responses of Black, East Asian, South Asian, and Arab/Middle Eastern gay men to racism. The findings have important implications for health and social service professionals-- they suggest that repeated encounters with racism can precipitate negative physiological arousals, including reduced mental health and psychological functioning. Additional findings point to a range of coping strategies that the men used to negotiate racist encounters, perhaps indicating a demonstration of their resilience in the face of adversity. Dr. Sulaimon Giwa is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University's School of Social Work. His applied research program and professional activities centralize critical race transformative pedagogies and theories as frameworks and analytic tools for social justice and equity. His research interests are in the areas of race and sexuality; critical social work pedagogy; antiracism/oppression; and the criminal justice system. 

Previous meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Research Talks: 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.  Link to the presentation here:

Special Presentation: Beyond Bullying for LGBTQ Youth

Beyond Bullying: Shifting the Discourse on LGBTQ Youth in Schools

Visiting Lecturers:

Dr. Belinda Leach: In October 2008, with the Departments of Women's Studies and Sociology, the group co-sponsored a 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. Her talk to the Research Exchange Group on Women's Health/Gender and Health was about "Policy Dialogues for Making Change: Gender, Collaboration and Policy Research Processes." 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."

CIHR Café Scientifique: The Research Exchange Group on Women's Health/Gender and Health also co-sponsored with SafetyNet and the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health a CIHR Café Scientifique titled "Does Our Sex/Gender Affect Our Workplace Health?" 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.

Dr. Ivy Bourgeault: 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