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Archives Of Sexual Behavior Dedicates Special Issue To Legacy Of Dr. Judith Bradford

The Archives of Sexual Behavior, the official publication of the International Academy of Sex Research, has dedicated this month’s special issue on bisexuality to the life and legacy of Dr. Judith Bradford, former Co-Director of The Fenway Institute and pioneer in LGBTQ health research, who passed away in 2017.

The paper was edited by Dr. Wendy Bostwick, Adjunct Faculty Member at The Fenway Institute and Associate Professor at the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dr. Brian Dodge, Adjunct Faculty Member at The Fenway Institute and Associate Director at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and Associate Professor at the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Kenneth Mayer, Co‑Chair and Medical Research Director of The Fenway Institute, wrote an editorial piece for the issue highlighting the incredible impact Judy had on LGBT health.

“Dr. Bradford was a critical scholar in the area of population science,” wrote Mayer. “She was one of the first people to very clearly recognize that sexual and gender minority individuals constitute distinct populations… By recognizing that some of the physical determinants of health disparities could be exacerbated by societal intolerance, Dr. Bradford was able to develop unique and creative analyses of the interactions of the diverse levels of the eco-social model affecting LGBTQ health.”

Bostwick and Dodge dedicated this special section of Archives of Sexual Behavior to the memory of their colleague in recognition of her contributions to bisexual health. Dr. Bradford organized an international bisexual health research roundtable in 2014 that resulted in the formation of the Bisexual Research Collaborative on Health (BiRCH). That collaboration led to many of the papers featured in the journal.

“My hopes for this emerging work are to continue Judy’s work of bringing bisexual health research specifically to fore,” Dodge said. “Through our production of the special section, we found there are a number of researchers working with big data sets as well as diverse subgroups of bisexual people – beyond the members of BiRCH – who we may not have otherwise connected with. That makes me hopeful, and I think Judy would be proud.”

“Judy’s work laid the foundation for so many that came after her, myself included, and for the many of us that pushed to expand the thinking around what eventually became LGBTQ health,” said Bostwick. “Judy was on board for that evolution. She willingly admitted that she did not know it all, and she continued to push herself to learn more and see things from a different perspective. It is somewhat bittersweet to me that one of her last major efforts before her passing was work centered on bisexual people. I know that even until the end, she was still striving to learn more about bi+ health and advocate for the long overdue acknowledgement that bisexual people have not only a place within LGBTQ health, but within LGBTQ communities more broadly. Knowing all this, I’m quite sure Judy would be delighted by this Special Section in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.”

“Her colleagues continue to miss her, but her successes still manifest on a daily basis, given the increasing recognition by the academic community and public health officials that LGBT people are discrete populations with unique healthcare needs, which require a sophisticated understanding of the interplay of social, structural, individual behavioral, and biological factors,” Mayer added.

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