Gender, Sexuality, & Health


Photo of two people holding a pride flag. They are wearing beige and pink suits while holding hands.

Renamed the Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality, and Health in 2013, this group facilitates networking among researchers, graduate students, and policy makers who are interested in research and healthcare practice in the realms of gender and sexuality. The group includes representatives from government, the healthcare system, academia, and the community at large. Academic members represent a variety of disciplines including medicine, nursing, education, psychology and sociology.

See Group Activities & Presentations

Group Convener

Mary Walsh (she/her) is the Research Project Manager with QuadrangleNL. She holds a Masters of Science in Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and is passionate about engaging marginalized populations in research in meaningful and inclusive ways. Her decade of previous experience in front-line service delivery has grounded her approach in trauma-informed practice, harm reduction, and intersectional feminism. Mary was born in Ontario, grew up around the bay, and now resides in St. John's with her two saucy, senior cats.

Join Us

NLCAHR’s Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality, and Health welcomes anyone with an interest in gender, sexuality, and health to join us. See our calendar of meetings for information about upcoming webinars or email for more details.


Group Activities & Presentations


December 14, 2023 | Quinn Jesso of the Community Mental Health Initiative | Quinn Jesso (she/her) is the Mental Health Promotion Coordinator at the Community Mental Health Initiative CMHI a non-profit community-based organization located in Corner Brook that offers information, support, resources and training on topics including mental health, suicide awareness and housing support in the Corner Brook, Bay of Islands and Deer Lake areas. CMHI works with all individuals including those who have complex needs and provide a range of supportive services.   Importantly, Quinn’s work through other avenues also centers on advocacy and support to increase understanding of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. As a proud member of the queer community, she shares her knowledge about gender issues, gender, sexuality and mental health based on lived experience and strong connections with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Newfoundland and Labrador.


November 16, 2020 | Holding Space and Building Place: Reflections on Building a 2SLGBTQIA+ Community Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador | Charlie Murphy and Dr. Ailsa Craig, Quadrangle Co-founders | Quadrangle co-founders presented the history and trajectory of Quadrangle NL, a charitable organization with the mission of building a community centre to support 2SLGBTQIA+ wellbeing and the goal of providing a hub for collaborative community connections and events. | Link to Presentation |


September 27, 2019 | Engaging in Queer Healthcare Research Translation and Mobilization | Chris Shortall, M.Sc. (Medicine) Applied Health Services Research, Memorial University | Chris Shortall's Master's thesis looked at the Canadian nursing curriculum and curricular policy for the inclusion of LBGTIQ/sexuality and gender identity circa 2013-2015. Chris subsequently received a CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Community Support Grant, "Hacking the Knowledge Gap" to collaborate with nurses and develop a national online educational module for nurses to learn communication skills in the areas of LBGTIQ/sexuality and gender identity health and wellness. Chris also published a journal article on his thesis in the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, journal Quality Advancement in Nursing Education. Chris talked about their past and present community work in the area and their incorporating as Rainbow Health Consulting Ltd. | Link to Presentation |

LGBTQIA2S+ Educational Resources | As the result of the research outlined above, a new website: Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Nursing Education was developed to help nurses and other healthcare professionals “use cultural humility to meet the unique healthcare needs of LGBTQIA2S people.” This free online educational toolbox includes a series of Video Simulation Games of varying lengths (i.e., short vignettes to full games) and curated educational resources. | Access the Free Course |

May 10, 2019 | Motherhood Experiences in Newfoundland & Labrador: A Survey to Inform Public Policy | Shannon Bedford and Emily Saunders | Presenters shared the results of a large survey of motherhood that was undertaken as their PsyD research project at Memorial, focused primarily on the experience of mothers here in the province. The survey looked at demographic differences between urban and rural mothers, mothers who have a partner who works away (mobile relationships), satisfaction with healthcare services, and other factors. Shannon will present a "demographic portrait" of motherhood here in the province that is intended to validate the lived experience of mothers in informing public policy. Emily co-presented the results of her analysis of those results related specifically to access to healthcare services. | Link to Presentation |

May 23, 2019 | Pornography & Public Health | Valerie Webber, Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University | Webber was investigating the framing of pornography as a 'public health crisis'.  She holds a Masters of Public Health from Memorial University and a Masters in Medical Anthropology from McGill University. Her undergraduate degree from Concordia University was in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality. | Link to Presentation |


October 31, 2018 | Racialized Encounters: Physiological and Psychological Impacts of Racism on Gay Men of Colour and Their Coping Responses | Dr. Sulaimon Giwa, School of Social Work |  Link to Slides |

February 16, 2018 | Abortion Access in Newfoundland and Labrador: The (untapped) Potential of Medication Abortion | Dr. Robin Whitaker, Memorial University's Department of Anthropology |


February 28, 2017 | Is Miscarriage a Disability? | Aleksandra Stefanovic-Chafe


November 1, 2016 | The Gendered-Nature of Mental Illness in a Sample of Youth Probationers in British Columbia | Dr. Adrienne Peters, Department of Sociology, Memorial University |

April 1, 2016 | Deconstructing Trauma | Sue McKenzie-Mohr, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, St. Thomas University, Fredericton |

March 2015 | Transgender and Childhood | Julia Temple-Newhook | Presentation on the health, well-being and support needs of transgender children and their families during social transition. | Link to Presentation |

2015 | Sexual Health Research on Workers Who Commute | Zack Marshall and Gerard Yetman | Discussion on sexual health research, highlighting the results of recent interviews with key informants from Newfoundland and Labrador about how best to design research that engages people who commute across provinces for work and the people in their social networks. |


May 6, 2014 | Strategic Positioning: Gay Men's Health & HIV Prevention | The Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality and Health hosted a public lecture by gay men's health activist Mikiki at Easten Edge Gallery in St. John's. This event was held on May 6, 2014 and focused on HIV prevention. | Link to Presentation | 

2014 | Beyond Bullying: Shifting the Discourse on LGBTQ Youth in Schools | Link to Presentation |

2014 | Fat Girls and Big Guys: Gender and Weight-Loss Surgery | Dr. Julia Temple Newhook and Hilary Price, Memorial University | Link to Presentation | 

2014 | Funding Opportunities for Research in Women’s Health | Dr. Stephen Bornstein, Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research | Link to Presentation |

2014 | What do you want that for? Perceptions of Risk and Concerns with Health Privacy in an Information Era: Evidence from Newfoundland and Labrador | Dr. Larry Felt, Sociology, Memorial University | Link to Presentation |

2014 | A Critical Examination of the Benefits and Risks of Breast Cancer Screening | Dr. Anne Kearney, School of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University | Link to Presentation |

2014 | A Burnt Out Revolutionary is Just Burnt Out: Attending to the Health of LGBTQ Advocates and Activists | Dr. Ailsa Craig, Sociology, Memorial University | Link to Presentation |

2014 | Under the Rainbow: Working Towards Inclusive Communities and Healthcare for the LGBT Community | Diana R. Deacon, Educational Specialist, and Costa Kasimos, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood | Link to Presentation |

2014 | Policy Dialogues for Making Change: Gender, Collaboration and Policy Research Processes | Belinda Leach, University of Guelph | Dr. Leach gave a second talk as part of the Women's Studies Speakers Series (which was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at Memorial) on "Jobs for Rural Women? Gender Identities and Gender Relations in Ontario's Ruralized Auto Manufacturing Labour Market." With the Departments of Women's Studies and Sociology, the group co-sponsored a special visit by Dr. Belinda Leachof the University of Guelph.  This visit was funded in part by NLCAHR's Visiting Lecture fund. Dr. Leach gave two lectures during her visit to St. John's. |


April, 2012 | Health Worker Migration | Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa | As part of NLCAHR's Research Talks series, the Women's Health/Gender and Health Research Exchange Group invited Dr. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault (Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and CIHR Research Chair in Health Human Resource Policy) to give a public lecture  on "Health Worker Migration". This event was co-sponsored by SafetyNet and coincided with a meeting of CIHR's national working group on mixed methods research on gender, environment and health. | Link to Dr. Bourgeault's Presentation |

April, 2012 | Working Group on Mixed Methods Research | The Research Exchange Group and NLCAHR sponsored and organised a meeting of the Working Group on Mixed Methods in Research on Gender, Environment and Health in St. John's. The main aim of the Working Group is to develop a mixed methods research model to examine sex/gender in studies of environmental and occupational health. The Working Group on Mixed Methods is one of the working groups of the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health (GEH), which aims to contribute to the development of new approaches and methods for the integration of sex and gender in environmental and occupational health research. |


October, 2010 | Does Our Sex/Gender Affect Our Workplace Health? A CIHR Café Scientifique | The Research Exchange Group on Gender and Health co-sponsored with SafetyNet and the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health a CIHR Café Scientifique titled held at Bitters Pub, Memorial University campus. Panelists included Dr. Nicole Power (Sociology, Memorial), Professor Katherine Lippel (Canada Research Chair, Occupational Health & Safety Law, University of Ottawa), Dr. Barbara Neis (Sociology, Memorial), and Brenda Grzetic (PhD candidate, Dalhousie). The moderator, Kathy Fitzpatrick, introduced the screening of two films, El Contrato and A Second Wind. The films were followed by a café-style discussion with the panelists. | 


October, 2009 | Sex, Gender and Health: New Directions in Research | This event was a conference organized and hosted by the Research Exchange Group on Women's Health/Gender and Health and funded by NLCAHR and by a Meetings, Planning and Dissemination Grant from CIHR. Workshops before the conference addressed funding opportunities in the area of gender and health and the establishment of a network of researchers interested in the area of work-related mobility, health and gender. The conference brought together researchers, students, health decision-makers and community members to examine new research on sex and gender as it relates to the health of the body, healthy workplaces, and healthcare policy and delivery.  The keynote speakers were:

  • Dr. Zena Sharman, CIHR Institute of Gender and Health,
  • Dr. Donna Mergler, Université du Québec à Montréal,
  • Professor Katherine Lippel, University of Ottawa, and
  • Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa.

This highly successful conference featured thirty presenters and was attended by over 125 people. Dr. Christopher Loomis, President and Vice-Chancellor pro tempore, made introductory remarks. |