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Women Health. 2006;44(2):121-34.

Comparing sexual minority status across sampling methods and populations.

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Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The health of sexual minority women (SMW) has recently received research attention. Previous research into the health of SMW (e.g., lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered women) used a mixture of sampling methods, many of which were poorly documented and difficult to understand. The results of these previous studies do not present a consistent pattern of findings, possibly due to differences in sampling methods. The present study compared the characteristics ofSMWacross four survey sampling methods, three in the same geographic area. Differences were found among groups of SMW by sampling method, including in demographic data (e.g., level of education) and personal health data (e.g., rates of regular mammography screening). These findings provided a possible explanation for the variety of findings in the published literature and identified rigorous sampling methods that can be used in future research.

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