Negotiating Discourses of Shame, Secrecy, and Silence: Migrant and Refugee Women’s Experiences of Sexual Embodiment (2017)

This 2017 qualitative study used an intersectional framework to explore experiences and constructions of sexual embodiment among 169 migrant and refugee women recently resettled in Australia and Canada. Their questions were meant to explore women’s experiences of sexual embodiment and also the ways in which intersecting forms of oppression (especially sexism and heterosexism) might form structural barriers related to accessing sexual health information. Across all of the cultural groups, participants described a discourse of shame, associated with silence and secrecy, as the dominant cultural and religious construction of women’s sexual embodiment.