Gender and Sexual Minority Healthcare Research - LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

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Women’s Health USA 2011 - Lesbian and Bisexual Women

Research suggests that lesbian and bisexual women are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes, including overweight and obesity, poor mental health, substance abuse, violence, and barriers to optimal health care resulting from social and economic inequities.1,2 Although frequently referred to as part of a larger group of sexual minorities, including gay men and transgender individuals, the health status and needs of lesbians and bisexual women are uniquely shaped by a range of factors including sexual identity and behavior, as well as traditional sociodemographic factors, like age, education, and race and ethnicity. The terms “lesbian” and “bisexual” are used to define women according to their sexual orientation which can reflect sexual identity, behavior, or attraction;3 however, for the purposes of the data presented on this page, both lesbian and bisexual refer to women’s self-reported identity.4

In 2006–2008, 1.1 percent or 590,000 women aged 18–44 years self-identified as homosexual, gay, or lesbian and 3.5 percent or 1.9 million self-identified as bisexual. The proportion of women who reported any same-sex sexual behavior, however, was substantially higher at 12.7 percent, while 16.7 percent of women in this age group reported some degree of same-sex attraction.

Among reproductive-aged women in 2006–2008, differences were observed for several health indicators by sexual identity. Bisexual women were less likely than heterosexual women to report having health insurance (72.4 versus 79.9 percent, respectively) and marginally less likely to report being in excellent or very good health (58.9 versus 68.1 percent, respectively); no significant difference was observed between lesbian and heterosexual women for either indicator. Conversely, while approximately 66 percent of heterosexual and bisexual women received a Pap smear in the past 12 months, only 38.3 percent of lesbians reported receiving this service. Both lesbian and bisexual woman, however, were about twice as likely as straight women to report smoking and binge drinking (defined as consuming 5 or more drinks within a couple of hours at least once a month during the past year). Nearly half of lesbian and bisexual women reported smoking, while 31.8 percent and 21.2 percent of lesbians and bisexuals, respectively, reported binge drinking.

A recent report from the Institute of Medicine concluded that to better understand and meet the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, more data are needed in several priority areas: demographics, social influences, health care inequalities, and transgender-specific health needs.3 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is working to increase the number of federally-funded health and demographic surveys that collect and report sexual orientation and gender identity data.5


1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2020: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health. Accessed 05/23/11.
2 Mayer KH, Bradford JB, Makadon HJ, Stall R, Goldhammer H, Landers S. Sexual and gender minority health: what we know and what needs to be done. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(6):989-995.
3 National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: building a foundation for better understanding. Accessed 05/23/11.
4 Chandra A, Mosher WD, Copen C, Sionean C. Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: Data from the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth. National health statistics reports; no 36. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011. Accessed 05/25/11.
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recommended Actions to Improve the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities. Accessed 05/25/11.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Mental Health Research

NIH Plans for Advancing LGBT Health Research

January 4, 2013

First, it is clear from the portfolio analysis in the Research Coordinating Committee (RCC) report that research opportunities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) health span the interests of a number of NIH institutes, centers, and offices (ICOs). Indeed, the LGBTI funding opportunity announcements released in February 2012 include areas relevant to twelve ICOs. Gaps and opportunities identified in the RCC report include a number of areas of health including but not limited to depression, suicide, obesity, cancer risk, long-term hormone use, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and substance use and abuse including alcohol, smoking, and other drugs, recognizing that there are unique health needs for specific populations within the LGBTI umbrella.  A better understanding of how LGBTI health needs change throughout the lifespan and how they are affected by other factors such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status is also needed.  To continue to address this array of health issues and research opportunities the RCC has been reconstituted under the leadership of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The new LGBTI RCC will serve as an established trans-NIH coordinating committee to facilitate and coordinate collaborations and other activities related to LGBTI health across the NIH ICOs as well as with other HHS agencies. The NIH LGBTI RCC will provide an important forum for discussing the diverse health issues for these communities and serve as a catalyst for developing additional research and training initiatives to ensure that LGBTI health needs continue to be identified, addressed, and incorporated in our research and training initiatives, funding opportunities, and programs.

Second, the NIH recently provided support for an IOM workshop entitled Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection in Electronic Health Records: A Workshop.  This workshop brought together a small, diverse group of stakeholders to provide different viewpoints on the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in electronic health records.  The IOM report on LGBT health includes a specific recommendation on this topic.  The NIH committed to supporting this workshop because routine data collection and standardized methods on sexual orientation and gender identity are critical for advancing the understanding of LGBTI health needs as well as an LGBTI health research agenda. The NIH looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the IOM and other partners on LGBTI research matters.

Third, the NIH is developing outreach plans that will include encouraging staff from our ICOs to access professional development on LGBTI health through activities such as attending  meetings, conferences, and symposia related to LGBTI health. Through these activities, NIH staff will gain better understanding of the research issues and challenges, and LGBTI health researchers will gain sound technical advice for navigating the NIH grant and funding system.

LGBT Data Collection:

Best Practices for Asking Questions about Sexual Orientation on Surveys (Williams Institute, 2009)

How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender? (Williams Institute, 2011)

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders of Color Sampling Methodology: Strategies for Collecting Data in Small, Hidden, or Hard-to-Reach Groups To Reduce Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (ETR Associates and the Network for LGBT Health Equity, 2008)

Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

Human Rights Campaign - Healthcare Equality Index, 2007-2010

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on LGBT health

Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals (The Joint Commission, 2010)

Reaching Out to "Other" Special Populations: Providing Services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients (National Association of Community Health Centers, 2007)

About Multiculturalism in Psychology

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) “A new set of research guidelines is encouraging psychologists to step outside of Western/Eurocentric thinking in their collection and interpretation of data on ethnic minorities. Five ethnic-minority psychological associations collaborated on the "Guidelines for Research in Ethnic Minority Communities," which, while not comprehensive, focus on the problems researchers create when they assume that the characteristics or mindset within one group represent all minorities”....Click to Read APA article.

Participating in research investigations can help in many ways, such as advancing the understanding for professionals and thus helping those whom they serve & increasing understanding for those who participate in the study itself through the questions and self-reflection involved. Some studies offer a lottery or cash as reimbursement. There may be also risks in participating in research, such as bringing up difficult material and emotions for the participate as well as loss of time in answering the questions. All research involves some level of risk and benefit, and each study request will identify what those risks and benefits would be.


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Using the National Library of Medicine - PubMed

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's database of references to more than 11 million articles published in 4300 biomedical journals. When you search PubMed:

  1. You will find information about articles on your topic (the author, title of the article, name of the journal, date published, page numbers).

  2. Many of the listings also have short summaries of the article (abstracts).

  3. Sometimes you will find a link to the full text of the article. More often, you will have to visit a library to view the full article.

  4. Click here to access PubMed

PubMed contains references to thousands of articles on the GLBT population, including topics such as:

  1. Comparing violence over the life span in samples of same-sex and opposite-sex cohabitants.

  2. Lesbians, gay men, and their parents: family therapy for the coming-out crisis

  3. Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients.

  4. MDMA ("Ecstasy") abuse and high-risk sexual behaviors among 169 gay and bisexual men.

  5. Lesbian sexuality. Do doctors contribute to lesbian invisibility and ill health?

  6. Eating disorder in a transgendered patient: a case report.

  7. The association between receptive cunnilingus and bacterial vaginosis.

  8. Suicidal behavior in gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth.

Please note that most of the articles you will find listed in MEDLINE are written for health professionals. Some are fairly technical and clinical, others are accessible to a wider audience. Articles are for educational use only and are not intended to replace advice from a health professional.

Tips for searching PubMed for GLBT health articles:

Generally, you will have the most success when using formal language to search PubMed. The following key words result in references to articles on GLBT people, communities, and health:

  1. Lesbian

  2. Homosexual

  3. Transgender

  4. Transgendered

  5. Transsexual

  6. Gay

  7. Bisexual

  8. Homophobia

  9. Queer

  10. Heterosexism

* From King County Public Health:

Mental Health Research Opportunities

The Gay & Gender Research Organization keeps a list of research projects related to the LGBTQ community. Check out their list and resources by clicking here.  Below are some research requests that are specific to the LGBTQ population or those that might interest such population:

  1. Sexual Desire and Women's Hormonal Changes: Dr. Lisa Diamond, Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, is conducting a study of day-to-day changes in women’s hormone levels and their day-to-day experiences of sexual desire. She is seeking bisexual and lesbian participants. The study involves completing assessments of sexual desire and also providing a series of saliva samples. All participants will be financially compensated for their time. For additional information, please contact

  2. Research on Gay Male Survivors of Sexual Assault: This research study is interested in understanding the experiences of gay male survivors of sexual assault. Interviews should take between a half hour to an hour. For more information, click here.

  3. Gay Youth and Their Families: The goal of this NIH-funded intervention documentary is to increase awareness and acceptance for families who have gay teenagers. The researchers and filmmaker will be interviewing teens and their parents locally and possibly in Oakland, California and the East Coast. Click here for more information.

  4. Same-Sex Parents & Legal Parenting Rights: This 20-minute survey ask questions to learn about the experiences of same-sex parents in relationship to legal parenting rights. It's main purpose is in advocating for parents to be fully recognized in their family role and to not be discriminated against in family concerns. Click here for more information.

  5. Stress, Coping, Sexual Orientation: This 20-30 minute survey asks questions to understand the relationship between sexual orientation, and stress and coping. Click here for more information.

  6. Transgender Experiences With Therapy: This is an opportunity to participate in research about Transgender people conducted by a transgender woman regarding being assessed by a mental health professional prior to being accepted by a physician for hormones or surgery treatment. The purpose of this study is to gain information about the experiences that people have with the current edition of the Standards of Care (SOC) requirement of assessment that could be used by the authors of the next edition of the SOC to make it better for transgender people. The next edition is due to be published in 2011. Click here for more information.

  7. Body Image & Feelings Toward Sexual Identity in Women Who Have Sex with Women: This anonymous survey is about relationship between body image and feelings toward sexual identity. The survey will ask you about your demographics (i.e., age, gender), sexual/relationship history, self-esteem, body esteem, and sexual orientation. This survey is expected to take about 10 minutes. Upon completion of the survey you will be eligible to receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. Click here for more information.

  8. Experiences of “Ex-Ex-Gay” Individuals: This study is designed to learn more about the experiences of people who (a) have gone through therapy or an intervention that was meant to change their sexual orientation, and (b) currently identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Persons who participate in this study will be asked to provide information such as sexual orientation, age, income, past experiences in therapy meant to change your sexual orientation, psychological symptoms, and religiosity. In order to participate in this study, participants must be at least 18 years of age. They will be given $15 for their participation, although the information that they provide will be invaluable to educating others about the experiences of ex-ex-gay individuals. Click here for more information.

  9. Families Headed by Gay Fathers: This study consists of an online survey and will take approximately 25- 35 minutes of each participant's time. To qualify for the study the participant would have to identify as male, a father, and gay, bisexual or homosexual and have a least one child of any age; this child can be biological, adopted, foster, step, or other child. A man does not need to be the child's legal parent to participate. Click here for more information.

  10. Seeking Same-Sex Couples for research study: Our research team at the University of Utah is conducting a study focusing on how different patterns of interaction between couples affect cardiovascular reactivity. All participants will be financially compensated. We are looking for couples who have been together for at least 9 months. The study involves visiting our research office at the University, filling out questionnaires, and engaging in a videotaped discussion with your partner about daily events, areas of disagreement, and positive experiences while we assess your cardiovascular functioning. The findings will have important implications for understanding how close relationships influence physical health. For more information, go to to answer a few short screening questions and determine your eligibility, after which a research assistant will contact you directly with all of the details. You can also reach us at 581-3924. Feel free to pass along this message to friends and family that you think might be interested. Dr. Lisa Diamond, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Utah.

  11. Experiences of Religion on LGBT Individuals and Their Relationships: Click here for a list of current projects.

  12. Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences in Scent Preferences, Mate Preferences, and a Variety of Other Behaviors. The survey has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Barry University in Florida and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Click here for more information.

  13. Exploring older lesbian couples' experiences with aging, including issues related to work and retirement, caregiving, housing and assisted living, lesbian identity, and strengths related to getting older. $30 is given per couple (in which at least one partner is 60 years of age or older) to participate in a 60-90 minute initial interview and then a 30 minute follow-up. This is an opportunity for lesbian women to give voice to some of their concerns about aging, as well as a time to reflect positively on the meanings their experiences hold. Click here for more info.

  14. Exploring romantic relationships: This 30-minute study examines attitudes, feelings, and experiences associated with being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Click here for more info.

  15. Exploring a full spectrum of female relationships: This 30-45 minute survey investigates female ideas of romantic relationships and investigates the experiences of women involved in committed romantic relationships with men as well as women in committed romantic relationships with other women. Click here for more info.

  16. The Relationship of Thought Suppression and Emotion Suppression to Lesbians' and Gay Men's Level of Outness: This 20-30 minute survey investigates the relationship of "outness" and authenticity to psychological distress. Click here for more info.

  17. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, bi-curious, queer, questioning, or otherwise same-sex attracted: This 20-30 minute survey is on the beliefs about sexual orientation held by same-sex -attracted people. Click here for more info.

  18. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Relationships: This 20-minute study investigates the effects of homophobia, alcohol and drug use, and family relationships on intimate relationships. Click here for more info.

  19. Study on the Eating Behaviors of Gay Men: This 20-minute survey will donate $1 per participant who completes the survey to the Human Rights Campaign. Click here for more info.

  20. Research Study for Lesbian, Bisexual, and Questioning Women: The 30-minute study involves questions about experiences you may have had as a woman and as a lesbian/bisexual person, your connection to the LGB and feminist communities, ways you typically deal with stressful events, and psychological well-being. Click here for more info.

  21. Coming Out to Parents as a Lesbian or Bisexual Woman: The study's purpose is to learn more about the experiences and reactions that occur after coming out to parents. It should take 30 minutes to 1 hour to participate. Click here for more info.

  22. Lesbian Women of Color in a Relationship: This study will explore the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of minority stress and societal stressors related to being in a committed inter-ethnic lesbian of color relationship. Each member of the couple will take part in a face-to-face confidential individual interview and earn $30 each for 1½ to 2 hours. Click here for more info.

  23. Health Care Experiences of Gay Men and Women: This 30-minute survey is designed to gather the health care experiences of individuals who identify as same-gender-oriented (e.g., lesbian, gay). Participants who identify as bisexual, transgender, or intersex may feel that there are additional experiences that they have had with health care providers that are not asked about in this survey. Click here for more info.

  24. Homosexuality among Highly Religious Mormons: A Follow-Up Study: The criteria for inclusion in this study is individuals who deal with or have dealt with same sex attractions over the age of 18 who have/had a considerable investment in the LDS/Mormon Church [e.g. served a mission, temple attendance, important callings, regular church attendance & full tithe payer for a significant period of time, strong testimony, etc]. It is the perspectives of this group that is of interest to this study, and it may take 1 hour to participate. Click here for more info.

  25. Same-sex attracted individuals born in the LDS Church (practicing and non-practicing): This 20-minute study investigates the experiences of those who are “out” and/or practicing your LDS faith to help explain the effects of Mormon teachings and culture on same-sex attracted individuals. Click here for more info.

  26. Sexual Satisfaction in Relationships: The purpose of this 10-minutes survey is to gather information on what individuals think contributes to or detracts from sexual satisfaction in relationships. Click here for more info.

For Therapists:

  1. Experiences of LGB Psychologists-in-Training: This study explores the experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual counseling and clinical psychologists-in-training who have had at least two semesters of clinical supervision. The participants will be interviewed via telephone with regard to their experiences, with the interview taking approximately 1 to 2 hours. Click here for more information.

  2. LGB Therapists and Personal Relationships: This 20-30 minutes study will examine the impact of professional roles on the personal lives of LGB therapists. Click here for more information.

  3. Childhood Sexual Abuse: The purpose of this 20-25 minute study is to examine psychologists' attitudes and practices in the assessment of childhood sexual abuse with adult clients/patients. Click here for more info.

  4. White Therapists' Racial Attitudes: The purpose of this 25-30 minute study is to validate a new scale that measures racial attitudes of white mental health helping professionals and white mental health helping professionals-in-training. Click here for more info.

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network and Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) - Research and Resources

GLSEN's Research Department supports the organization's mission by conducting original research, making evaluations of GLSEN programs and initiatives, and creating resources that document anti-LGBT bias in education (K-12 schools). The department also provides research-related technical assistance and tools designed to be used by educators and students in their own communities.

GSA Network can provide you with sample surveys and help you analyze the results. Contact us!

Implementing Lessons that Matter: The Impact of LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum on Student Safety, Well-Being, and Achievement
Source: GSA Network

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right: Why Zero Tolerance is Not the Solution to Bullying
Source: GSA Network, Advancement Project, and Alliance for Educational Justice
This policy paper examines the surge of recent policy and legislative activity around bullying of LGBT and other youth, and find that policymakers and school officials have erroneously adopted zero-tolerance policies that rely on suspensions, expulsions, and arrests of alleged bullies. This punitive approach results in students being needlessly pushed out of school and placed onto a path into the criminal justice system coined the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
Download the Report

Gay-Straight Alliances: Creating Safer Schools for LGBT Students and Their Allies
Source: GLSEN
This brief examines current research on GSAs and highlights major findings regarding school safety, access to education, academic achievement for LGBT students, and access to GSAs in school.
Read the Report

Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation's Schools
Source: GLSEN
This report finds that transgender youth face extreme harassment in school.
Read the Report

Shared Differences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students of Color
Source: GLSEN
The report documents the experiences of over 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) middle and high school students of color who were African American or Black, Latino/a, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American and multiracial.
Read the Report

Involved, Invisible, Ignored: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents and Their Children in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools
Source: GLSEN
This report from GLSEN, in partnership with COLAGE and Family Equality Council, examines and highlights the school experiences of LGBT-headed families using results from surveys of LGBT parents of children in K-12 schools and of secondary students who have LGBT parents.
Read the Report

Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools
In this report, Human Rights Watch documents attacks on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are subjected to abuse on a daily basis by their peers and in some cases by teachers and school administrators. These violations are compounded by the failure of federal, state, and local governments to enact laws providing students with express protection from discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, effectively allowing school officials to ignore violations of these students rights.
Source: Human Rights Watch
Read the Report

Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel (Updated 2008 edition)
Developed and endorsed by the following organizations:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics

  2. American Counseling Association

  3. American Association of School Administrators

  4. American Federation of Teachers

  5. American Psychological Association

  6. American School Health Association

  7. Interfaith Alliance Foundation

  8. National Association of School Psychologists

  9. National Association of Social Workers

  10. National Education Association

Read the Report

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk
Source: Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association)
Read the Report

Want more info?
Visit GLSEN’s research department to access numerous reports that document anti-LGBT bias in education (K-12 schools).

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Leading Research on Gay Parenting

These summaries provide the main findings of the leading social science studies focused on gay parents and their children. See Too High A Price for further information on the research studies of LGBT families.

Experience of Parenthood, Couple Relationship, Social Support, and Child-Rearing Goals in Planned Lesbian Mother Families
Henny M.W. Bos, Frank van Balen, Dymphna C. van den Boom

This study focused on whether lesbian couples with children differ from heterosexual couples with children, in terms of parenting competence, burdens, stress, parenting justification, relationship satisfaction, division of labor, use of social support, and the child rearing goals of conformity and autonomy. No differences were found with respect to most of these factors. However, there were some differences: among the lesbian couples, there was more sharing of family responsibilities and, thus, more satisfaction with their partners then among the heterosexual couples; the lesbian mothers found children’s conformity to social expectations less important than heterosexual parents did; and lesbian non-biological mothers shared greater need to justify the quality of their parenting than did heterosexual fathers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45:4 (2004), pp. 755-764.

Family Functioning in Lesbian Families Created by Donor Insemination
Katrien Vanfraussen, Ingrid Ponjaert-Kristoffersen, Anne Brewaeys

This study compared the relationship between parent and child in heterosexual and lesbian families in the following categories: parent participation in child activities, general conversations between parent and child, emotional issues, affection, quarrels/disputes, and authority. This study found virtually no differences in how parents and children in each group perceived the quality of their relationships with one another. One of the differences between the two types of families was that the biological and non-biological mothers in the lesbian families shared parental responsibilities for their child more equally than in heterosexual families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 0002-9432, January 1, 2003, Vol. 73, Issue 1

What Does It Mean for Youngsters to Grow up in a Lesbian Family Created by Means of Donor Insemination?
K. Vanfraussen, I. Ponjaert-Kristoffersen & A. Brewaeys

This study explored how children from lesbian families created by donor insemination presented their non-traditional family to their peers, whether these children were teased or harassed about their parents’ sexual orientation, and whether introducing a non-traditional family to their peers affected their psychological well being. The study found that these children were not more likely to be teased than children of heterosexual families, but if teased, it was more likely to be family-related teasing incidents. Moreover, introducing their non-traditional family to their peer group did not interfere with their psychological well being; in fact, children from both groups of families had equally good self-esteem and felt equally accepted by their peers.
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2002.

Parenting Behaviors of Homosexual and Heterosexual Fathers
Jerry J. Bigner and R. Brooke Jacobsen

This study investigated parenting behaviors in heterosexual and gay fathers. Gay fathers did not differ significantly from heterosexual fathers in terms of overall parental involvement, intimacy, and parenting skills. There were some differences between the groups in approaches to parenting; for example, gay fathers tended to be more communicative with their children and to enforce rules more strictly. 1989. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 18, pp. 173-186.

Adult Responses to Child Behavior and Attitudes Toward Fathering: Gay and Non-Gay Fathers
Jerry J. Bigner, R. Brooke Jacobsen

This study found no differences between parenting behaviors and attitudes about fathering between gay and heterosexual fathers. 1992. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 99-112.

Donor Insemination: Child Development and Family Functioning in Lesbian Mother Families
A. Brewaeys, I. Ponjaert, E.V. Van Hall, and S. Golombok

This study found that children in lesbian mother homes were as positive and healthy as children in homes headed by a mother and a father. Researchers compared children of lesbian couples conceived via donor insemination, children of heterosexual couples conceived via donor insemination, and children of heterosexual couples who conceived conventionally. Overall, lesbian non-biological mothers were found to have better relationships with their children than the heterosexual fathers. No differences were found between the three groups of children. 1997. Human Reproduction, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp. 1349-1359.

Division of Labor Among Lesbian and Heterosexual Parents: Associations with Children's Adjustment
Raymond W. Chan, Risa C. Brooks, Barbara Raboy, and Charlotte J. Patterson

This study found that lesbian couples and heterosexual couples reported even splits of household labor and decision-making. In the area of childcare, the heterosexual couples had a less equal distribution of responsibilities, with the mothers generally taking a larger role. There were no differences between the groups of children in their social adjustment with peers. 1998. Journal of Family Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 402-419.

Psychosocial Adjustment among Children Conceived via Donor Insemination by Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers
Raymond W. Chan, Barbara Raboy, and Charlotte Patterson

This study found that the sexual orientation and relationship status of parents had no significant impact on the psychological well being of their children. Rather, children were impacted by other factors, such as parents' psychological well being and parenting stress—neither of which had anything to do with sexual orientation. 1998 (April). Child Development, Vol. 69, No. 2, pages 443-457.

Lesbians Choosing Motherhood: A Comparative Study of Lesbian and Heterosexual Parents and Their Children
David K. Flaks, Ilda Ficher, Frank Masterpasqua, Gregory Joseph

This study found that children of lesbians and children of heterosexuals were equally healthy in terms of psychological well-being and social adjustment. The lesbian mothers were found to have more developed parenting awareness skills than the heterosexual parents. 1995. Developmental Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 105-114.

Children in Lesbian and Single-Parent Households: Psychosexual and Psychiatric Appraisal
Susan Golombok, Ann Spencer, and Michael Rutter

This study found no significant differences between children raised by lesbians and children raised by single heterosexual mothers on measures of emotions, behavior, and relationships with peers. Also, no differences were found in terms of their gender identity or gender behavior. 1983. Journal of Child Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 551-572.

Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families
Fiona Tasker and Susan Golombok

This study found no significant difference between children raised by lesbian parents and those raised by heterosexual parents in the quality of the young adults' relationships with their mothers, in incidences of teasing or bullying in high school, or in their emotional well-being. No differences were found in the proportion of each group that reported experiencing sexual attraction to someone of the same sex, though the children of lesbians were more likely to act, or consider acting, on those attractions. 1995. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 65, No.2, pp.203-215.

Do Parents Influence the Sexual Orientation of Their Children? Findings From a Longitudinal Study of Lesbian Families
Susan Golombok and Fiona Tasker

This study found that there was no significant difference in the number of self-identified lesbian and gay young adults from lesbian-headed families and from heterosexual-headed families. Similarly, no significant difference was found between the two groups in those who reported experiencing same-sex attraction. Daughters of lesbians, however, were significantly more likely to report being open to same-sex attractions or relationships. Children of lesbians were significantly more likely to have had a same-sex sexual experience. 1996. Developmental Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 3-11.

Lesbian Mothers and Their Children: A Comparison with Solo Parent Heterosexual Mothers and Their Children
Richard Green, Jane Barclay Mandel, Mary E. Hotvedt, James Gray, Laurel Smith

This study found that children of lesbians and children of heterosexual single mothers show no differences in gender identity and social adjustment with peers. Some differences were detected in gender behavior: daughters of lesbians were found to be less confined in their choices by stereotypical notions of feminine- and masculine- appropriate behavior. Some significant differences were detected between the mothers themselves. Lesbian mothers had higher levels of self-confidence and sought more leadership roles, while the heterosexual mothers had lower self-confidence and sought subordinate roles. 1986. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 167-185.

Gay and Lesbian Parents
Mary B. Harris and Pauline H. Turner

This study found no significant parenting differences between gay and lesbian parents and their heterosexual counterparts. 1985-86. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 101-113.

Children's Acquisition of Sex-Role Behavior in Lesbian-Mother Families
Beverly Hoeffer

This study found no significant differences between the gender behavior of children of lesbian and heterosexual mothers. It also found that lesbian mothers were significantly more likely to prefer that their kids play with a more equal mix of masculine and feminine toys, while heterosexual mothers tended to prefer that girls play with stereotypically feminine toys and boys play with stereotypically masculine toys. 1981. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 51, No. 3. pp. 536-544.

Children of Lesbian Mothers
Mary E. Hotvedt and Jane Barclay Mandel

No significant differences were found between children of divorced lesbian and heterosexual mothers in terms of general well being and relationships with peers. There were no differences between boys in terms of gender behavior, but daughters of lesbians tended to have preferences in play and career choice that were not confined by traditional notions of female toys and occupations. 1982. Homosexuality, Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues, edited by W. Paul. Sage: Beverly Hills, CA.

A Comparative Study of Self-Esteem of Adolescent Children of Divorced Lesbian Mothers and Divorced Heterosexual Mothers
Sharon L. Huggins

This study found no significant difference between the self-esteem of children with heterosexual mothers and children with lesbian mothers. 1989. Homosexuality and the Family, edited by F.W. Bozett. Haworth: New York.

The Children of Homosexual and Heterosexual Single Mothers
Ghazala Afzal Javaid

Significantly more lesbian mothers than heterosexual mothers expressed willingness to accept their child if he or she later came out as gay. No differences were found between children in terms of gender identity or sexual orientation. 1993. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 235-248.

Lesbian Mothers and Their Children: A Comparative Survey
Martha Kirkpatrick, Catherine Smith, and Ron Roy

This study found no difference between children of lesbian mothers and children of single heterosexual mothers in psychological well-being or gender behavior. 1981 (July). American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 545-551.

Heterosexual and Homosexual Mothers' Self Described Sex-Role Behavior and Ideal Sex-Role Behavior in Children
Sally L. Kweskin and Alicia S. Cook

This study found that a mother's gender behavior—not her sexual orientation—may be a more important influence on her children's gender identity. 1982. Sex Roles, Vol 8., No. 9, pp. 967-975.

Families and Parenting: A Comparison of Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers
Kevin F. McNeill, Beth M. Rienzi, and Augustine Kposowa

This study found that lesbian and heterosexual mother groups did not differ significantly in relationships with their children, parenting practices, and overall family stress. 1998. Psychological Reports, Vol. 82, pp. 59-62.

The Child's Home Environment for Lesbian vs. Heterosexual Mother: A Neglected Area of Research
Judith Ann Miller, R. Brooke Jacobsen, Jerry J. Bigner

This study measured the way lesbian and heterosexual mothers responded to a variety of situations involving their children. It found that lesbian mothers were significantly more likely to respond in a child-oriented way (oriented more towards helping the child understand the situation) than the heterosexual mothers who responded in more task-oriented ways (simply disciplining the children without explaining why). 1981 (Fall). Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 49-56.

Children of the Lesbian Baby Boom: Behavioral Adjustment, Self-Concepts, and Sex Role Identity
Charlotte Patterson

This study found that children of lesbian mothers did not differ from other children in the areas of psychological well-being, social adjustment with peers, and gender behavior. The children of lesbian mothers had two differences: they tended to have both a higher stress level and a higher sense of well being. 1994. Lesbian & Gay Psychology: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications, edited by B. Green and G.M. Herek. SAGE: Thousand Oaks, California.

Psychological Health and Factors: The Court Seeks to Control in Lesbian Mother Custody Trials
Catherine Rand, Dee L. R. Graham, and Edna I. Rawlings

This study found no significant differences between lesbian mothers and other mothers in psychological health. It also found that divorced lesbians tend to have a better level of mental health if they are open about their sexuality to their children and former husband. 1982 (Fall). Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 27-39.

Rozzie and Harriet? Gender and Family Patterns of Lesbian Coparents
Maureen Sullivan

This study investigated the relationships of lesbian couples who have children and the way these women share responsibilities. The study found that most of the couples share responsibility in more egalitarian ways than the stereotypical, nuclear family model, but the author did not study any heterosexual parents. 1996 (December). Gender & Society, Vol. 10, No. 6, pp. 747-767.

Peer-Reviewed Journals Pertaining to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues

Canadian Online Journal of Queer Studies in Education

The Canadian Online Journal of Queer Studies in Education was created to provide a forum for scholars, professionals, and activists to discuss queer topics in education and the social sciences in the Canadian context. It is a refereed e-journal that is affiliated with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

International Journal of Transgenderism

The official journal of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Offered in both print and electronic versions the quarterly publishes peer-reviewed, original article and republishes seminal archival articles.

Journal of Bisexuality

A quarterly journal which publishes both peer reviewed professional articles and serious essays on bisexual topics in a more popular and nonacademic style.

Journal of LGBT Youth (formerly Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education)

The Journal of LGBT Youth is the interdisciplinary forum dedicated to improving the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. This quarterly journal presents peer-reviewed scholarly articles, practitioner-based essays, policy analyses, and revealing narratives from young people.

Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health (formerly Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy)

The Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health is a clinical, multidisciplinary professional forum for the exposition, discussion, and exchange of practical information about lesbian and gay psychotherapy. It has been adopted as the official journal of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists.

Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services

This publication focuses on ideas and resources for the design, evaluation, and delivery of social services for LGBT populations at all stages of life. It is the official journal of the Caucus of the LGBT Faculty and Students in Social Work.

Journal of GLBT Family Studies

The journal is designed to promote the study of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families. The target audience is academics, researchers, and practitioners working in marriage and family therapy, lifespan development, counseling, and human services.

Journal of Homosexuality

The journal is devoted to scholarly research on homosexuality, including sexual practices and gender roles and their cultural, historical, interpersonal, and modern social contexts. In addition, articles in the journal explore the political, social, and moral implications of research on human sexuality.

Journal of Lesbian Studies

This interdisciplinary journal examines the cultural, historical, and interpersonal impact of the lesbian experience on society. Balancing research and practical information, the journal is designed to be a forum for research and theory, addressing the history, politics, science, race, literature, and life cycle issues of lesbians.

Journal of LGBT Health Research

This interdisciplinary quarterly provides a forum for LGBT health issues and highlights social-, psychobehavioral- and biologically-based public health research and health services access/utilization evaluation. Topics include such issues as health disparities and public health problems of the LGBT community.

Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling

The journal provides a professional forum for research, best practices, and emerging trends and issues related to counseling GLBT youth and adult communities. It is the official journal of the Association for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in Counseling, a division of the American Counseling Association.

International Journal of Sexual Health (formerly Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality)

The journal publishes original articles about human sexuality with a psychological focus. It is designed to encompass clinical, counseling, educational, social, experimental, and psycho-neuroscience research devoted to the study of human sexuality.

FROM: APA Division 44 -


NIH LGBT Research Coordinating Committee Statement

The analysis of the NIH research portfolio on LGBT health indicated that much of the current portfolio is focused in the areas of Behavioral and Social Sciences, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse. There appears to be relatively little research in several key health areas for LGBT populations including the impact of smoking on health, depression, suicide, cancer, aging, obesity, and alcoholism.....

Read 2013 NIH Director Statement for Advancing LGBT Health Research

Download the 2012 RCC Report: Consideration of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals

Download the IOM Report on the Health of LGBT People (2011)

Lesbian Health & Research Center

At the Lesbian Health & Research Center we’re passionate about bringing people together for a greater purpose: to speed up the pace of research for the LBTQ community and to close the gap in LBTQ health disparities. We’re the only lesbian-focused health and research organization housed within one of the world’s premier health science institutions, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where we’re part of the School of Medicine (National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health) and the School of Nursing (Institute for Health & Aging).

CLEAR - Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research

The goal of research conducted by CLEAR is to evaluate psychological treatments and educational protocols that enhance the well-being of sexual minority individuals. Academic research that has potential to inform future psychological applications is also conducted in conjunction with the LGBTQ Program at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology....

Gay and Gender Research of Sociocultural and Health Issues

GAY & GENDER RESEARCH is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to the research of sociocultural and health related issues impacting the bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender communities. By conducting and freely sharing the results of our research, we hope to create awareness, open the door to solutions, and encourage further research....

Black Gay Research Group (BGRG)

The Black Gay Research Group (BGRG) is a diverse group of Black gay men committed to creating a platform for presenting, discussing, and analyzing scholarly work being produced by and on Black gay men. Inaugurated in the Spring of 2001, the BGRG has evolved from an informal discussion group to a structured group of professional Black gay men who have accomplished a number of objectives:  (1) We hosted three Black Gay Research Summits (2003, 2005, and in 2010); (2) We conceptualized a Black Gay Research Think Tank; and (3) We developed a National Black Gay Research Agenda (2007)...

US Dept of Health and Human Services - Office of Minority Health (OMH)

HHS on Oct. 31, 2011, published final standards for data collection on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status, as required by Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act [PDF | 1.6 MB]. The law requires that data collection standards for these measures be used, to the extent practicable, in all national population health surveys. They will apply to self-reported information only. The law also requires any data standards published by HHS comply with standards created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Proposed standards were published on June 29, 2011, and public comments were accepted until August 1, 2011. The standards, effective upon publication today, apply to population health surveys sponsored by HHS, where respondents either self-report information or a knowledgeable person responds for all members of a household. HHS will begin implementation of these new data standards in all new surveys and at the time of major revisions to current surveys...

Suspect Science - Challenging Poor Scientific Methodology used as Anti-Gay Propaganda

Darren Sherkat, professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University and a member of the editorial board of Social Science Research, was tapped by journal editor Wright to conduct an audit of the process of publishing the Regnerus study. Sherkat was given access to all the peer reviews and correspondence connected with the paper, and was told the identities of the reviewers. What he found, he says, was a study that is deeply methodologically flawed and a peer-review process that failed to identify significant problems. Sherkat also says that the story of the study’s publication is part of a much larger trend in academia and the social sciences: the rise of conservative ideologues in academia whose tendentious studies are paid for by private sources and think tanks with a specific ideological axe to grind. The Intelligence Report spoke to Sherkat about the Regnerus study and its flaws.


National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Data Collection Challenges

The Department has collected LGBT-related data in several surveys in the past, but there are a number of challenges. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has improved comprehension and response rates over time by refining its methods. However, concern continues as missing data tend to be concentrated in certain
population sub-groups. To enhance the quality of the data, the HHS Data Council, NCHS, and other relevant agencies across the federal government are testing ways to reduce bias in the estimates. HHS surveys have not collected data on transgender status.....

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Data Bank
provides knowledgeable analysis, commentary and expert "how to" information on gathering such data effectively in scientific surveys, questionnaires and studies. Collected and categorized here you will find numerous datasets and links to rich data sources that are essential to LGBT health research, researchers, students, advocates and anyone interested in scientific-based information about LGBT people and populations...

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Caucus of Public Health Professionals

The Caucus is a group of public health practitioners with an interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons' public health issues. The Caucus has been in official relations with the American Public Health Association (APHA) since its inception in 1975.....

Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Health Access Project - Massachusetts

According to a study commissioned by the GLBT Health Access Project and conducted by JSI Research and Training, Inc, only 8-11% of gay and lesbian individuals sought care at a GLBT-identified health setting.  In other words, 90% of gay and lesbian participants sought care within mainstream systems. While research on GLBT populations has increased in recent years, only 0.1% of all research dollars goes towards investigating these populations....

The Williams Institute - LGBT Census, Statistics, Research

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.  A national think tank at UCLA Law,  the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public....

Gallup Special Report on US LGBT Population

Also See:  Gallup Poles on LGBT issues

Also See:  NIMH - National Institute of Mental Health - Suicide Statistics

Also See:  CDC - Centers for Disease Control - LGBT Statistics

Also See:  Pew Research Center - Gay Marriage Poles

LGBT Health Research Percentages According to Journal of Homosexuality

According to the special health edition (July 2012) of The Journal of Homosexuality, “...articles about the deviance of homosexuality still outnumber articles about improving health care provider interactions with LGBT patients (5% compared to 3% of all articles on LGBT topics)”

*Eliason, M., DeJoseph, J., Dibble, S., Chinn, P.  (2012).  LGBT Health Research: Introduction to the Special Issue.  Journal of Homosexuality, 59, 761-764. serves as a no-cost, open-access clearinghouse for the collection of sexual orientation & gender identity data and measures.  This site also provides knowledgeable analysis, commentary and expert "how to" information on gathering such data effectively in scientific surveys, questionnaires and studies. Collected and categorized here you will find numerous datasets and links to rich data sources that are essential to LGBT health research, researchers, students, advocates and anyone interested in scientific-based information about LGBT people and populations.

Researching for LGBTQ Health

A team of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, and queer (LGBTQ) and ally researchers who focus on understanding how LGBTQ people experience physical and emotional (mental) health, and how they access health services.
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