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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004 Mar;13(2):227-34.

Advocacy for women's health should include lesbian health.


Although research confirms that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, established scientific studies are often not reflected in laws and judicial opinions for lesbians with regard to employment, taxation, pensions, disability, healthcare, immigration, military service, marriage, custody, and adoption. The expression of homosexual attraction or behavior is sometimes met by disdain or violence. Psychological and epidemiological research confirms that the public discriminatory attitudes and second-class legal status cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to lesbians, their families, and their children. Some lesbians experience discrimination in healthcare and avoid routine primary healthcare. To decrease the harm, and improve the health of lesbians, medical institutions can include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies and offer domestic partner coverage in employment benefits. Our specialty societies should review current laws and judicial opinions and advocate for change. Further, specialty societies can effect change by issuing policy statements about issues of orientation and by writing orientation/identity curricula for public schools, colleges, and postcollegiate education to improve their accuracy, reduce sexually transmitted diseases, delay sexual activity, and reduce morbidity from homophobic violence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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