Talking about sexual desire: Social work practice with marginalized young women

Adva Berkovitch Romano, Maya Lavie-Ajayi, Michal Krumer-Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feminist scholarship on young women's desire, sexual subjectivity, and agency, presents a challenge to social workers working with marginalized young women. These young women—positioned, and often governed by the intersectional impact of gender, social, and material inequality—often experience encounters of serious sexual abuse. Previous research indicates that in these situations, social workers tend to emphasize a discourse that equates sexuality and its expression with risk. This article explores rare examples of social work practice with marginalized minor women in Israel seeking to recognize and contextualize sexual agency and desire. Data was collected through individual and group interviews with 30 social workers, and from 18 social work reports. Our findings show that some social workers were able to engage with elements of sexual pleasure and subjectivity as expressed by their clientele, using three interrelated modes of practice. These examples present a way of opening new horizons for feminist practice.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102824
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • Desire
  • Feminist social work
  • Marginalized minor women

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Development
  • Law
  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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