Social Determinants of Health Among Women Part of the LGBT Community
At least 2 million people worldwide identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual or queer. Moreover, a 2003 Health Canada survey indicated that within individuals aged 18-59, 28% of homosexuals and bisexuals claimed they had at least one healthcare need that has gone unmet, double the percentage of heterosexuals (Armstrong & Deadman, 2009). As these statistics state, 560 000 individuals in the LGBT community have a healthcare issue that is not being taken care of, due to factors that will be discussed in this paper.
Armstrong and Deadman (2009) identify four challenges that women of these groups face: the tendency for researchers to group lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals into one group called the LGBT community; the lack of Canadian research on health issues pertaining to this community, namely the women in these groups; the difficulty researchers have when recruiting sample populations due to possible humiliation of disclosing membership; and the lack of professional education programs within institutions and organizations which properly train staff and give them insight on the LGBT community (Armstrong & Deadman, 2009). Members of the LGBT community face many biases and social stigmas throughout their life, including the association of homosexuality and HIV/AIDS. Although HIV/AIDS continues to be popularly believed to be the only health concern within the LGBT community, lesbians prove to have significantly lower rates than heterosexual women (Armstrong & Deadman, 2009). On the contrary, it is mental health issues such as stress, discrimination and threat of violence that are the most prevalent within these groups. Members of the LGBT community have the highest reported rates of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance use. These issues are related to the stress and oppression that homosexual women...
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