Research Professor at INSERM (Institut de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) since 2001.
Director of the team : "Gender, sexuality, health" (INSERM U 1018 - CESP) since 2015. ¨
Associate Research Professor : Post - Graduate Phd Program : "Cognition, Language, Interaction" (Université paris Saint - Denis) since 2000.
¨ HDR - Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (Social Sciences) : Université René-Descartes, Sorbonne, Paris, 1999
¨ PhD in Social Psychology: Université Paris-Diderot, 1978
Public Health, Social Psychology, Sexology, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Disability, HIV Infection, Ethical aspects of sexuality.
¨ WAS (World Association for Sexual Health): Full member since 2005.
¨ IASR (International Academy of Sex Research): since 1994 (Full member).
¨ ISSM (International Society for Sexual Medicine): Full member since 2005.
¨ SFMS (Société Française de Médecine Sexuelle) : Founding and Full member since 2005.
¨ AIHUS (Association Inter hospitalo-Universitaire de Sexologie) : Full member since 2005 / Elected Member of the Executive Board : 2008-2011.
¨ Adjunct Editor Sexologies / European Journal of sexology and sexual
¨ Member of Scientific Board of journals
¨ Brasilian and Latin-American Journals :
Books and editied books :
Sexual health and medicalization of sexuality
The medicalization of sexuality has become highly visible to the public and media with the emergence of new pharmacological treatments for sexual disorders [Giami & Pietri 1999]. Medicine now has drugs and means of intervention that can stimulate male sexual function and inversely, the pharmaceutical, hormonal, surgical and psychological means of regulating or inhibiting sexual deviance (treatment of sex criminals, together with their incarceration). Also developing rapidly, as shown by the volume of scientific publications, is a medical approach to the relations between various diseases (cancer, diabetes, HIV infection, mental illnesses, etc.) and sexual functioning. Maintenance and development of sexual health has become an important concern in the health field, from the point of view of both clinical practice, where it is a basic aspect of the patient's quality of life, and of public health. The concept of medicalization is used not only to analyze the expansion and development of medicine in the field of sexuality; it also helps to analyze how the view, theories and practices inspired by medicine have come to structure and organize, directly or indirectly, the entire contemporary experience of sexuality, in contributing to the redefinition of the norms governing healthy and unhealthy [Kleinman 1988], of the risks associated with sex, and of consent and to the development of the practices of health professions (physicians, nurses, psychologists and educators) as well as the development of new forms of sexual morality [Gagnon 1975].
This project envisions the medicalization of sexuality as the principal determining factor ("dispositif") that organizes contemporary experience of it. The research is based on the concepts of dispositif, discipline and bio-politics [Foucault 1976], of representations [Giami & Veil 1994; Jodelet 1989], sexual scripts [Gagnon 2008] and of sexual experience [Giami & Schiltz 2004].
The research program is organized around three themes:
The first intends to analyze scientific and medical knowledge of sexuality, as well as the organizations in which this knowledge is developed socially. It focuses particularly on the study of sexology and of its contemporary transformations in the form of sexual health, sexual medicine and sexual rights. The international analyses will be approached from the perspective of globalization driven by the growing influence of the pharmaceutical industry, of the process of professionalization and of the development of the struggle for sexual and reproductive rights. This research is based on interviews with professionals and officials of professional and international organizations, on the textual analysis of scientific and medical documents and on participatory observations at scientific conferences in the field of sexual health. Our objective is to analyze the process of the globalization of the production of scientific and medical knowledge in the field of sexuality and to assess its national particularities. This work is taking place in France and in collaborations in Europe [Giami & de Colomby 2006] and Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru; "Science, occupation and sexuality in Latin America" project, in collaboration with the Centro Latino Americano em Sexualidade e direitos humanos (IMS-UERJ) (Latin American Center for Sexuality and Human Rights, University of Rio de Janeiro). A new research project is also in development: its aim is to analyze the discourse and representations of sexuality, of sexual health and of AIDS in the corpus of texts put out by international organizations such as the World Bank, OECD, WHO and UNAIDS. It will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Kenneth Rochel de Camargo, IMS-UERJ (Brazil).
The aim of the second theme is to identify and analyze the practices, representations, systems of knowledge and values of health professionals, in their approach to sexuality This may concern the approach used by specialists in sexology or that which occurs in the process of the informal specialization" that involves all health professions that face questions associated with sexuality. The studies, covering sexologists, general practitioners and specialists, nurses, psychologists and specialized educators, are based on analysis of professional literature, surveys of these professionals by interviews and questionnaires, and on observation of their practices. The principal research question is the identification of the nature of professional work and of the possibility of specialization in sexuality and sexual health, as a function of the reference professions and of the definition of informal specialization in the field and in each of the professions considered. Three projects are under development: representations of sexuality among general practitioners in the context of AIDS (funding ANRS), representations of sexuality among nurses in the field of cancer (funding INCA) and representations of AIDS among nurses in Brazil (funding ANRS). Underlying these projects are important hypotheses on the question of informal specialization in sexuality and questions of gender: the particular orientation of the practice and distribution of skills as a function of the professional's gender. Emilie Moreau is working on representations of sexuality and practices among physicians working in the field of cancer. G De Larocque, continuing work already begun by the team, is beginning a dissertation in social psychology in 2008-2009, on general practitioners. The group also seeks to develop a research program on the social role of psychologists in the field of sexual health, at a time when drugs for sexual disorders are developing. These studies will take place first of all in France and in a collaboration with the Faculdade de Enfermagem (School of Nursing) of the UERJ and the School of Nursing of the Catarina Federal University of Health. The collaboration with these Brazilian teams may lead to the creation of an International Associated Laboratory (LIA) as part of an international agreement between INSERM, CNRS and the Brazilian CNPQ.
A third topic covers the experience of sexuality and sexual health. The work program seeks to explore the experience of sexuality, sexual disorders and the relations between sex life, health status, and living conditions among different groups of patients and vulnerable individuals. Situations of health and vulnerability to be studied include infertility, male and female sexual dysfunctions, transsexualism, AIDS, diabetes and cancer. This work is based on the construction of partnerships with teams of clinicians and epidemiologic researchers, who can facilitate patient recruitment and help refine research protocols. The team's work with a population of young adults (18-23 years) dealt with their experience of sexuality [Giami & Schiltz 2004]. This research helped us to develop an approach that takes into account the triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods. This research program is based on complementary approaches that make it possible to compare data collected from groups of patients and vulnerable individuals with data collected in the general population. Alexandre Mergui's dissertation on the experience of sexuality in adolescents born seropositive is part of this line of study. Moreover, the team is currently developing a project on the question of sexuality and vulnerability of transexuals. This project also includes an analysis of the medical-psychological system of management for "trans people", conducted in collaboration with the association "Gender". It is funded by the Directorate-General of Health. A project to study the sex life of women with breast cancer is currently being developed with Prof. Elisabeth Meloni Vieira and Prof. Ana Maria de Almeida of the University of Sao Paulo (USP-Ribeirao Preto).