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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2006 Mar;9(2):67-73. Epub 2005 Sep 20.

Lesbian perinatal depression and the heterosexism that affects knowledge about this minority population.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. shanthitrettin@hotmail.com

Abstract

The medical literature about homosexuality and mental health is expanding; however, a paucity of research about lesbian mental health remains. No research about lesbian perinatal depression has been published. This paper highlights the heterosexism that perpetuates research and health care disparities between heterosexual and lesbian/gay/bisexual individuals. We acknowledge barriers that distance lesbian women from research and health care, and emphasize the importance of moving beyond these barriers to fill in gaps of knowledge about the specific health care needs of this minority population. We use an analysis of stress factors as a framework to generate hypotheses about perinatal depression in lesbian women. We conclude with suggestions for future study in the form of questions that should be asked and pursued in research.

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