Beyond Binary: (Re)Defining “Gender” for 21st Century Disaster Risk Reduction Research, Policy, and Practice

Citation:

Rushton, Ashleigh, Lesley Gray, Justin Canty, and Kevin Blanchard. 2019. "Beyond Binary: (Re)Defining “Gender” for 21st Century Disaster Risk Reduction Research, Policy, and Practice." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16 (20): 3984-98.

Authors: Ashleigh Rushton, Lesley Gray, Justin Canty, Kevin Blanchard

Abstract:

The dominant discourse of gender focuses on the binary of woman/man, despite the known additional risks for diverse sexualities and gender minorities in disasters. Given the small but growing body of literature concerning gender minorities in disasters, this paper sets out to explore the place of sex and gender minorities in disasters and to examine whether a binary definition needs to be extended. A five-stage rapid review was undertaken following Arksey and O’Malley’s method. Peer-reviewed journal articles in English language were sought that included disaster and gender terms in the title, abstract, and/or body of the article published between January 2015 and March 2019. The search included MEDLINE and Scopus databases. Relevant information from the studies were charted in Microsoft Excel, and results were summarized using a descriptive analytical method. In total, 729 records were identified; 248 that did not meet the inclusion criteria were excluded and 166 duplicates were removed. A total of 315 records were sourced and their full text was reviewed. Of those, only 12 journal articles included content relative to more than two genders. We also recognized that sex and gender terms were used interchangeably with no clear differentiation between the two. We recommend that disaster scholars and practitioners adopt correct terminology and expand their definition of gender beyond the binary; utilize work on gender fluidity and diversity; and apply this to disaster research, policy, and practice.

Keywords: gender, gender minorities, disaster, rapid review, binary

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, LGBTQ, Sexuality

Year: 2019

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