Examining Sexual Health Discourses in a Racial/Ethnic Context

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Lewis, Linwood J
Lewis, Linwood J (2004) Examining Sexual Health Discourses in a Racial/Ethnic Context. Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 33 (3). pp. 223-234.
Sexual health is a complex, multidimensional construct. In analyzing race and ethnicity in sexual health, this article examines 2 domains of discourse: (1) preventive sexual health, a public health oriented domain of discourse concerned with the prevention of disease, and (2) eudaemonic sexual health, a domain of discourse concerned with attainment of sexual pleasure within a moral context. Research on the sexual health of ethnic minority populations is typically focused on preventive sexual health. There is an underemphasis on eudaemonic discourses when applied to ethnic minority persons, particularly in the examination of ethnic variations in sexual dysfunction. Medicalization of sexual dysfunction, control of minority sexualities, and ethnically oriented cultural scenarios are cited as reasons for this underemphasis. Exploring racial/ethnic aspects of eudaemonic sexual health can deepen understanding of sexual health in multiple domains and strengthen the ability to promote sexual health for all.