Dr George Turner


Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Social Work and Community Welfare


Dr. George Turner is a disability and sexuality scholar who values interdisciplinary collaboration including partnering with local communities in participatory research. His research is focused on reducing health disparities by advancing sexual health equity, framed by an interest in how systems of privilege impact the intersection of race, class, ability, gender, and sexual orientation within sexual health. Through an exploration of voice, his goal is to use storytelling to illuminate the lived experiences of disenfranchised groups and expose meaning where little or none existed.

As a scientist-practitioner, George’s work is organised around 3 areas of inquiry:

  1. how the interplay of privilege and oppression connect to the health and wellbeing of marginalised communities: specifically, LGBTQ identified, and disabled individuals;
  2. how intersectional identities are related to experiences of discrimination; and
  3. experiences of sexuality and sexual health from a strengths-based, sex positive, queer affirming, medically accurate, shame-free, feminist perspective.

Dr. Turner uses mixed methods approaches to investigate cross-cultural understandings, practice implications, and policy development regarding sexual well-being and sexual justice. As a educator, he employees experiential learning to maximise student development. In grooming learners, George mentors helping professionals who are skilled advocates, practitioner and researchers for disenfranchised communities.

Prior to coming to WSU, Dr. Turner was an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare (2013-16), and a visiting lecturer at Washburn University (2012-13) in the social work department. George has taught both undergraduate and graduate units including: Human Sexuality, Practice, Multicultural Practice, Psychopathology, Sexual Trauma, and Psychopathology. A certified sex therapist (AASECT), Dr. Turner operated a thriving private practice in Kansas City, MO. USA for fifteen years specialising in sexual health, personal wellness, and relationship enhancement. This and his background in non-profit administration inform his teaching best practices in direct clinical services. Dr. Turner routinely provided sexuality consultations to Kansas City hospitals including: Children’s Mercy, St. Luke’s, and KU Med speaking to their psychiatry, OBGYN and urology departments on topics such as intersexuality, female sexual pain, and taking a sexual history. Additionally, George was a frequent speaker at non-profits such as PFLAG, the MS Society, KU Cancer Center, as well as graduate psychology and counselling programs.

Research Interests

  • Sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing
  • Sex therapy interventions
  • Social work education and sexuality
  • Sexual rights and sexual justice
  • Marginalized sexuality including individuals who identify as LGBTQIA2S+, Disabled, Indigenous, and/or Culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Social determinants of health

Professional Memberships

  • 1997-PresentAmerican Assoc. of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapist (AASECT)
  • 2001-PresentNational Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • 2013-PresentSociety for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS)
  • 2016-PresentThe World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), Sexual Rights Committee Member

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD. Widener University
  • MEd. Widener University
  • MSW University of Kansas
  • Pat B. Koch Award for Research Publication in Sexuality, Widener University, (2015)
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, Center for Education, Widener University, (2012)
  • The William R. Stayton Award for Applied Leadership in Human Sexuality, Widener University, (2012 Nominated)

Research & Publications

Contact Details

Telephone+61 2 9685 9744