Tubman Speaker Series: Ciann Wilson on Thursday October 3, 2013

**This talk has been moved to York Research Tower 519**

Ciann Wilson will talk about “Jezebel: Exploring the impact of stereotypes on the sexualities and sexual health of young Black women” in the first Tubman Speaker Series for 2013-2014—this Thursday, October 3rd from 3:30-5:00 pm at 280N York Lanes.

This paper draws from data produced in a project Ciann Wilson coordinated during her Masters degree – the Let’s Talk About Sex (LTAS) project. Funded by the Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network, data collection for the LTAS project occurred during a photovoice workshop held once a week for 9 consecutive weeks in the Jane-Finch community. This workshop was completed by 15 young ACB women ages 14 – 18.  These young women used photography and creative writing to express their opinions on the barriers and facilitators to making healthy sexual decisions.

From the themes identified in the transcripts of the workshop as well as the photo-narratives created by the youth,  a major issue identified by the young women was negative stereotypes associated with being a young woman from the Jane-Finch community. Stereotypes of the “pregnant and promiscuous girls of Jane-Finch” were perceived by participants to originate in the media and were upheld by ‘outsiders’ of the community. These stereotypes were internalized by participants and this led them to socially distance themselves from the labels and thus, other young women in the community they perceived to fit the stereotypes.  These stereotypes also operated to mediate the sexualities and sexual lives of the young women as they avoided accessing sexual health resources and information because accessing such services was a form of ‘outing’ one’s sexual activity.   This presentation will examine how this larger stigmatized environment, in connection to race, racism and sexism, gives rise to assumptions about the sexualities of young Black women from the community.

Ciann Wilson is a PhD student at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. A direct reflection of her lived experience as a racialized woman and youth advocate, Ciann’s research interests include youth health; urban health; HIV and AIDS; political economy; social determinants; critical race and class theories; qualitative, quantitative, community-based and indigenous research approaches. The Let’s Talk About Sex project was funded by the Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network. Ciann is currently supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Doctoral Research Award.

See the rest of our Tubman Speaker Series for 2013/2014 and the Working Paper Series.

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