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Will Non-binary Gender Change our Conception of Sexual and Couple Therapy?

Will Non-binary Gender Change our Conception of Sexual and Couple Therapy?

Introduction: Sexology and couple therapy services
should provide adequate care for trans and non-binary
people. As our sexological knowledge is almost exclusively
based on a binary and hétéronormative conception
of gender/sex, questions emerge: is it of any help?
Will non-binary gender change our conceptions of
sexuality? and therefore sexual therapy?
Method: As a first step to build informed practices,
we’ve addressed the question by doing a « critical »
review of the literature from 2000 to 2019. The aim
was to map out what we know about sexual and intimate
relationships, romance and eroticism, for trans and
non-binary people, and what sexual and couple therapists
have proposed to do.
Results: A profound paradigm shift can be observed
in scientific and clinical publications since 2010, and
even more obvious since 2016: a shift in language and
conceptual framework; an increased focus on previously
under-studied topics such as transmen, non-binary
people, and intimate partner violence; a concern in
psychotherapy for social stigma as barrier to selfacceptance
and relationships. Despite growing research,
trans and non-binary gender remain under-studied and
genital sex is still a gold standard for thinking
Discussion: Current knowledge highlights how sexuality
and gender are interrelated. Sexuality is a
cornerstone of the gendered experience of oneself, for
identity affirmation, as a factor of embodiment, as a
relational determinant. Sexuality in an important factor
in well-being for trans people. But, current scientific
knowledge on this topic remains partial, and not representative
of recent social changes, but new theories are
emerging. Sexologists and couple therapists should
integrated a non-binary perspective on gender.
Keywords: Transgender, Non-binary, Sexology &
Couple therapy
Source of Funding: Pafarc, UQAM
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement: None

Speakers: Denise Medico