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Different sexed and gendered bodies demand different ways of thinking about policy and practice

Hartley, CF and Whittle, S (2003) Different sexed and gendered bodies demand different ways of thinking about policy and practice. Practice, 15 (3). pp. 61-73. ISSN 0950-3153

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Abstract

We live in an increasingly multi-sexed and gendered society. Social work professionals often are well informed about cultural sensitivities in relation to race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. But is the same true of concepts of sex and gender diversity and the social sensitivities that are involved here? Do social care professionals have the appropriate policies and skills to manage the needs of differently sexed and gendered people? This paper outlines the social emergence of the transgender community, signalling to social care practitioners that they should review existing practices and policies to ensure they are addressing the needs of this diverse community. Attention is drawn to particular difficulties 'trans' people have experienced when drawn into the social care arena. The paper suggests points of reference for reflexive practice that may support practitioners working with this diverse group of people and those who are interested in emancipatory practice.

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