Human Sexuality as a Critical Subfield in Social Work

  • Emily McCave Quinnipiac University
  • Benjamin Shepard CUNY/NYC College of Technology
  • Virginia Ramseyer Winter University of Kansas
Keywords: Human sexuality, social work scholarship, social work education


Human sexuality is of vital importance to social work practitioners, educators, and scholars. Yet historically, the profession’s leadership around it has waxed and waned, impacting practice. This article discusses the importance of human sexuality as a critical subfield within social work. It suggests that the mechanisms, namely textbooks, journals, and national conferences, for stimulating human sexuality social work scholarship are limited. The authors assert that the taboo of human sexuality limits the advancement of a cohesive professional discourse and contributes to the continued oppression of marginalized populations. Recommendations for providing better support for those who study, teach, and practice in the arena of human sexuality are offered.

Author Biographies

Emily McCave, Quinnipiac University
Emily McCave is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Quinnipiac University.
Benjamin Shepard, CUNY/NYC College of Technology
PhD, LMSW Associate Professor, Human Services Dept. CUNY Advocacy Chair National Organization of Human Services
Virginia Ramseyer Winter, University of Kansas