Sex[Ed] in the City (v. 1.0): Attitudes, Beliefs, Behaviors and Access to and Perceived Quality of Health Care among Sexual Minority Women
Sexual minority women have been underrepresented in the public health literature. However, research shows that lesbian and bisexual women experience a number of common risk factors which may contribute to disparities in health outcomes when compared to their heterosexual counterparts (O’Hanlan & Isler, 2007), including acess to quality health care. In the literature, studies have traditionally classified self-identified or same-sex attracted women in three ways: (1) via orientation; (2) behavior; and/or (3) self-identity, which has posed problems when evaluating epidemiological data on health behavior and disease.
Research has found that self-identified lesbian and bisexual women are more prone to partner psychological and physical victimization and more sexual assault experiences during adulthood (Balsam et al., 2005). Moreover, research has shown that self-identified lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be classified with alcohol and drug dependence syndromes (Cochran & Mays, 2000). Same-sex attracted, lesbian/bisexual and women who have sex with women (WSW) often experience disparities in additional health issues such as poor cardiovascular health, obesity, gynecologic cancers, other cancers like those of the breast, colon, and lungs, and even high rates of mental health decline (Meyer & Northridge, 2007). Thus, it is important to address current knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors with regard to health care access and quality for these women.
This project has finished all data collection. Data is currently being cleaned and coded in preparation for analyses.
Plans for the 2015 Sex[Ed] in the City Study (v. 2.0) include exploring gay and same-sex attracted men's perceptions of body image and self-esteem.