SP145 - Sexuality and development
Convened by Brenda Rodriguez Cortes, Chitrakshi Vashisht and Silke Heumann (all from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands)

Sexuality has been largely overlooked in mainstream development studies and practice (Cornwall and Jolly, 2006; Correa and Jolly, 2008). But sexuality relates and intersect with other areas of our lives, from religion to social rules, from the economy to political struggles. However, sexuality has been predominantly explored in a negative and limited way. Research on HIV/AIDS, population control, STI, etc. are some examples of this perspective wherein sexuality is seen as something dangerous that has to be contained and managed. Moreover, most of the research on sexuality also fails to recognize it as an intersectional issue and thereby is dominated by a gender binary (man/woman) and even a sexual binary (homosexuality/heterosexuality). Post-colonial and decolonial feminists have problematized these mainstream development views on sexuality (Harcourt and Icaza, 2014). Similarly, other research has further argued the importance of sexuality in development and considers it is an important category of analysis that intersects with class, caste, race, gender, political status etc. and that ultimately has an impact on social justice including but not limiting to sexual and reproductive rights (Cornwall and Jolly, 2008) and erotic justice. This panel hopes to bring together researchers exploring the field of sexuality in development studies, we welcome papers that move beyond the dominant frame of exploring sexuality(ies) and bring in creative and innovative approaches, methods and ideas. The panel aims to provide a vibrant space for discussing potential and ongoing research in any stage, from idea to results. Young researchers from the Global South are especially encouraged to apply.