Category Archives: Published Articles

No Pain, No Gain? Therapeutic and Relational Benefits of Subspace in BDSM Contexts

“No Pain, No Gain? Therapeutic and Relational Benefits of Subspace in BDSM Contexts” by Dulcinea Pitagora was published online in The Journal of Positive Sexuality in November, 2016, and can be read in its entirety here, or by clicking the image below.

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The Kink-Poly Confluence

“The Kink-Poly Confluence: Relationship Intersectionality in Marginalized Communities” by Dulcinea Pitagora was published online in Sexual & Relationship Therapy on March 4, 2016, and can be read in its entirety here, or by clicking the image below.

kink-poly_confluence

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The (In)visibility of Gender Diversity in Graduate Level Education

While the abstract below refers to the lack of education on gender diversity in graduate level psychology programs and to the pathologization of gender diversity in related literature, it’s clear that the reification of heteronormative gender roles is also rampant in the field of social work (Hicks, 2014). As someone who holds master’s degrees in both psychology and social work, I experienced this phenomenon first hand twice, and as someone whose practice provides support for underserved individuals in the trans* community, I’ve taken it upon myself to correct this gap in my education. My efforts have also been motivated by identifying as non-binary/gender fluid, though I say this knowing that I benefit from the privilege that goes along with being presumed to be cis female in most circles. However, it is not solely for personal and professional reasons that I am posting the abstract to this article. Clinicians, educators, and other service providers have a responsibility to understand gender and sexual diversity—it is crucial not only to avoid further stigmatizing underserved populations, but this is the most direct route towards recognizing the diversity that exists (often invisibly) in every individual. Knowledge is powerful, and I believe that instilling a heightened awareness of diversity in future psychologists and social workers has the power to relieve constraints against freedom of expression for all individuals, and create a more tolerant and accepting society overall.

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Peering into Gaps in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
Student Perspectives on Gender and Informing Education
by Jessica Joseph, Dulcinea Pitagora, Adrian Tworecke, and Kailey Roberts (2013)
The Society for International Education Journal:
Engaging with Difference, Gender and Sexuality in Education, 7
(1), 104-127

Abstract: At the intersection of psychology and critical theories, graduate students in psychology are uniquely situated to analyze the pedagogical assumptions and practices that shape constructions of gender normativity in the field. Writing from the perspective of current students, we examine how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text-Revision’s (DSM-IV-TR) work group members represent gender in their own publications. In line with previous criticisms, we suggest that many of the work group members uphold traditional binary systems; perpetuate statistical reinforcement and social loops; and pathologize (or deem developmentally lagging) gender diverse behavior. We question whether the DSM-IV-TR has been revised by diverse voices and make recommendations on how graduate-level curricula might broaden its pedagogy to include more fluid and inclusive concepts of gender expression.

A full-text PDF of the journal issue this article was published in can be downloaded here; the article begins on page 104.

While the Hicks article I mentioned above reviews “various theorizations of gender” (e.g., poststructural and postmodern feminism, queer and trans theory, material and structural, ethnomethodological, performative, and discursive) “to highlight ways in which social work may be limited in the versions that it prioritizes” (p. 13), it is exceedingly valuable to fields and schools of thought reaching far beyond the scope of social work. I highly recommend reading it! Here’s the citation:

Hicks, S. (2014). Social work and gender: An argument for practical accounts. Qualitative Social Work, 0(00), 1-17.

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The Scaffolding of Sexual Consent

The definition of sexual consent remains a contentious and controversial topic. Some accept a broad definition of consent that allows for implied agreement, while others insist that sexual consent should always be explicitly stated. To those unfamiliar, BDSM interactions might seem to exemplify coercive sexual practices, though consent is integral in non-pathological BDSM interactions. The article described in the abstract below examines the nature of BDSM interactions in order to clarify the line between consent and coercion in all sexual contexts.

NSPB


Consent vs. Coercion: BDSM Interactions Highlight a Fine but Immutable Line

by Dulcinea Pitagora (2013), The New School Psychology Bulletin, 10(1), 27-36

Abstract: In the majority of literature related to Bondage and Domination/Dominance and Submission/ Sadism and Masochism (or Sadomasochism) (BDSM; Connolly, 2006), there exists a focus on the pathologization of such interactions, and little attention is given to a non-clinical BDSM-oriented population. What research there is analyzing non-clinical expressions of BDSM suggests that consensual BDSM interactions can positively influence individuals in various ways, such as through heightened meaning-making and self-awareness and intensified interpersonal connection through a deliberate exchange of power. A closer look at the extant literature discussing nonpathological expressions of BDSM reveals that the explicit communication of consent is paramount. Nonpathological mainstream sexual interaction is based on the construct of consent as well, though consent is often assumed rather than asserted. While the realm of BDSM encompasses a vast range of potential activities, explicit consent is the single universal characteristic in BDSM sexual interactions and is considered a fundamental tenet in the BDSM community. This article presents a review of the literature on BDSM interactions with three goals in mind: 1) to investigate the historical pathologization of BDSM; 2) to compare similarities between BDSM and mainstream sexualities; and 3) to highlight the importance of explicit rather than tacit agreements of consent in every type of sexual interaction.

Full text available for download here.

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Support Needs and Resources of Sexual Minority Women with Breast Cancer

“Support Needs and Resources of Sexual Minority Women with Breast Cancer” by Laurie Paul, Dulcinea Pitagora, Brienne Brown, Adrian Tworecke, and Lisa Rubin was published online in Psycho-Oncology on November 28, 2013, and can be read here, or by clicking the image below.

SMW_support_needs

NOTE: The content of this blog is owned by Dulcinea Pitagora. See Terms and Conditions for republishing restrictions/allowances.