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Health Psychology

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Abstract

Health psychology is a new and developing topic within psychology with a growing and broadening focus and application. This chapter will look at health psychology and its intersection with sexuality and gender, offering current, contemporary, and critical theoretical aspects of the topic; explain and outline the main objectives of this field; and provide an overview of the theoretical approaches. Gender will be looked at both from a mainstream health psychol- ogy approach and from a critical, social constructionist view, showing how considerations of normative and non-normative gender identity have shaped our understanding of the importance of its intersection with health practice and promotion. Sexualities will be examined within a health psychology context, exploring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual identities and their intersection with health. The material covered will include mental and physical health issues both within and between sexualities. The chapter will summarise the evidence, looking at heterosexism and homophobia and their relationship with health inequalities in this group. To offer both development and understanding, the chapter will conclude by highlighting problematic research and practice resistant to understanding of sexuality and gender and make recommendations for development of practice and research in the field.
The Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender
Christina Richards; Meg John Barker
ISBN: 9781137345899
DOI: 10.1057/9781137345899
Palgrave Macmillan
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Health Psychology
Joanna Semlyen
Introduction
Health psychology is a new and developing topic within psychology with a
growing and broadening focus and application. This chapter will look at health
psychology and its intersection with sexuality and gender, offering current,
contemporary, and critical theoretical aspects of the topic; explain and outline
the main objectives of this field; and provide an overview of the theoretical
approaches. Gender will be looked at both from a mainstream health psychol-
ogy approach and from a critical, social constructionist view, showing how
considerations of normative and non-normative gender identity have shaped
our understanding of the importance of its intersection with health practice
and promotion.
Sexualities will be examined within a health psychology context, exploring
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual identities and their intersection with
health. The material covered will include mental and physical health issues
both within and between sexualities. The chapter will summarise the evidence,
looking at heterosexism and homophobia and their relationship with health
inequalities in this group.
To offer both development and understanding, the chapter will conclude by
highlighting problematic research and practice resistant to understanding of
sexuality and gender and make recommendations for development of practice
and research in the field.
History
Health psychology is a relatively newly developed area within psychology,
evolving as a separate field around 30 years ago and emerging as a division
within the British Psychological Society in 1997; since then gaining in popular-
ity, and becoming the fastest-growing area in psychology. Health psychology is
300
10.1057/9781137345899 - The Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender, Edited by Christina Richards and Meg John Barker
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Book
There has been a recent explosion of interest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) Psychology amongst students and academics, and this interest is predicted to continue to rise. Recent media debates on subjects such as same-sex marriage have fuelled interest in LGBTQ perspectives. This edited collection showcases the latest thinking in LGBTQ psychology. The book has 21 chapters covering subjects such as same sex parenting, outing, young LGBTQ people, sport, learning disabilities, lesbian and gay identities etc. The book has an international focus, with contributors from UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.