This week's guest is Dr. Rob Stephenson, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, at the School of Nursing and Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, at the University of Michigan. He also directs The Center for Sexuality & Health Disparities. Rob's work focuses on the intersection between sexuality and sexual health, examining how social stressors and inequalities create increased risks for poor sexual health. You can find some more information about Rob's work here and follow him on twitter and the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities here.
Rob's research is fuelled by the fire of social justice and aims to change people's lives for the better. He shares his journey from volunteering as an HIV tester and counsellor, to his work in Telehealth today. We discuss how stigma is a shapeshifter and how it could easily be an X-Men character (Marvel, we are interested in collaborating on creating such a villain). His work with gay men couples looks at the complex links between stigma and relationship violence. We talk about the need for more representation of relationship types for gay relationships (we shout out Schitt's Creek..again...come on as a guest Dan Levy please). Rob discusses the importance of reducing stigma in the world- not only asking people to cope 'better' with stigma. Finally Rob shares words of wisdom about not chasing two rabbits at once, and when feeling froggy...jump.
Episode hosted by Dr. Carmen Logie. Original music and podcast produced by Cozmic Cat. Supported by funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Canada Research Chairs program.