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Overcoming Barriers to Sexual Healthcare for Bisexual Adolescent Girls
New Rochelle, NY, September 22, 2016--Bisexual teenage girls are likely to miss out on the sexual healthcare information and services they need if healthcare providers present judgmental attitudes and assume patients' heterosexuality. Concerns regarding providers’ disclosure of confidential information when speaking to parents and bisexual stigma within families are other important factors that can keep adolescent girls from openly discussing their sexuality in the healthcare setting, according to a new study published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the LGBT Health website until October 20, 2016.
In the article "Bisexual Invisibility and the Sexual Health Needs of Adolescent Girls," Miriam Arbeit, PhD and Celia Fisher, PhD, Fordham University (New York, NY) and Kathryn Macapagal, PhD and Brian Mustanski, PhD, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL) examined how bisexual girls' perceptions of healthcare providers' attitudes and behaviors, social stigmas within families, and sexual health education provided in schools could affect their access to sexual health services and information.
The researchers concluded that the girls wanted their providers to be open and nonjudgmental and that they were willing to speak with providers about their sexual orientation but were unlikely to initiate the conversation. The authors emphasize the importance of primary care providers asking adolescent girls about sexual attraction, behavior, and identity, and taking advantage of opportunities to talk about sexual healthcare, educate patients, and test for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
“Relative to other sexual minority groups, little attention has been paid to supporting bisexual girls’ sexual health. Knowledge of a patient’s sexuality is essential to the biopsychosocial model of clinical practice,” says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. "Practitioners will find the authors’ tabulated recommendations for conducting clinical interviews with adolescent girls particularly useful for supporting disclosure of their sexuality."
About the Journal
Spanning a broad array of disciplines, LGBT Health, published bimonthly online with Open Access options and in print, brings together the LGBT research, healthcare, and advocacy communities to address current challenges and improve the health, well-being, and clinical outcomes of LGBT persons. The Journal publishes original research, review articles, clinical reports, case studies, legal and policy perspectives, and much more. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the LGBT Health website.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Journal of Women’s Health, and Population Health Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.