The current ANS featured article (available at no cost while features) is entitled “Black Female Sexuality: Intersectional Identities and Historical Contexts” authored by Natasha Crooks, PhD, RN; Randi Singer, PhD, MSN, MEd, CNM, RN, and Audrey Tluczek, PhD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Crooks provided this information about this work:
As a Black female researcher, my passion lies within addressing sexual health disparities and social inequities Black girls and women face throughout the life course. The motivation for my research stems from my clinical experiences in women’s sexual and reproductive health. I began investigating the experiences of Black female sexual development for my dissertation and have built upon this work by including adolescent girls. Many women from the study described how their intersectional identities and historical context influence their sexual development, aligning intersectionality to the findings of my grounded theory study.
Intersectionality is an important framework to use in nursing as it emphasizes the historical context, which is often absent in nursing theory. Intersectionality is a concept many of us may be familiar with; however, there is a lack of understanding particularly in nursing regarding its use. There is a complexity and discomfort in discussions of intersectionality as it describes social hierarchies (i.e., power and privilege) as well as consequences of those concepts (i.e., internalized oppression and historical trauma), especially as nurses and the field of nursing are predominately white. However, nurses are at the forefront of social justice and have a responsibility to provide culturally safe care. We thought it was important to discuss how research on Black female sexuality led to the development of an expanded intersectionality model and how it could inform research, theory, practice, and education.
We believe this work is timely considering the social awakening the Black Lives Matter movement has shed light on and the injustices Black communities face. In this article, we highlight many of the social inequities, which have led to historical trauma among Black women. We wanted to demonstrate the importance of intersectionality in relation to health, as well as the importance of historical context in health care. Historical context is critical in examining social inequities and health disparities among underrepresented populations. This framework may be useful in understanding how systemic issues have impacted health disparities, such as the disproportionate death rate of COVID-19 cases within Black communities.