The psychological society of South Africa sexual and gender diversity position statement: contributing towards a just society

SOURCE: South African Journal of Psychology
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.J.Victor, J.A.Nel, I.Lynch, K.Mbatha
KEYWORDS: GENDER, PSYCHOLOGY, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL ORIENTATION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8450

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Abstract

In this article, we outline the position statement on sexual and gender diversity adopted by the Psychological Society of South Africa's Council on 24 September 2013. In line with the Society's constitution, the statement contributes to transforming and redressing silences in South African psychology in order to promote human well-being and social justice for all. The commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Society as well as that of democracy in the country in 2014 makes the aforementioned contribution all the more significant. The statement provides psychology professionals in South Africa and elsewhere, with a framework for understanding the challenges that individuals face in societies that are patriarchal and heteronormative and which discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender. An affirmative view of sexual and gender diversity is taken as the foundation for providing support and guidance to professionals in all areas of psychological practice when dealing with sexually and gender diverse individuals. We contend that by assuming an affirmative stance towards sexual and gender diversity, psychology professionals can assist in the transformation of unjust sexual and gender systems, the harmful effects of which extend beyond their influence on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals to all persons in South Africa. In light of recent related developments in other African countries and the imminent launch of the Pan-African Psychology Union, South African psychology may, in fact, in this manner also contribute to similar regional initiatives.