Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

pp 1010-1013

Intimate Justice

  • Sara I. McClellandAffiliated withDepartments of Psychology and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan Email author 


Intimate justice is a theoretical framework that links experiences of inequity in the sociopolitical domain with how individuals imagine and evaluate the quality of their sexual and relational experiences. Developed initially to guide research on sexual satisfaction (McClelland, 2010, 2011), intimate justice encourages researchers to question how social conditions, such as racial and gender-based stereotypes (Fasula, Carry, & Miller, 2012) and sexual stigma (Herek, 2007), impact what individuals feel they deserve in their intimate lives. In addition to theorizing the impact of social conditions on deservingness, intimate justice encourages a critical engagement with research methods. Specifically, intimate justice argues that research on individuals’ evaluations of their lives – and specifically their levels of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness – should be assessed using measures and methods that always consider both potential group differences and the soc ...

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