Cultural Competency and the Lesbian Community
The Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community is one of the most polarized groups in modern society. Homophobia, misconceptions, and fear have caused many members of the GLBT community to stay “in the closet” a phrase meaning to keep one’s preference for the same sex a secret. Over the past ten years there has been an increase in GLBT images on television which have made it easier for more people to come out of the closet (Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, 2009).
While the numbers of individuals openly identifying as gay or lesbian have steadily increased throughout the years, the exact number of people identifying as Gay or Lesbian is not known. Studies by the United States Census estimate that between 2 and 10 percent of the population identify as Gay or Lesbian (Smith & Gates, 2001).
With such a sizeable portion of the population, health issues affecting the GLBT community play a significant role in the health of the entire population that can not be ignored.
The GLBT community is not a homogenous one. There are specific health issues that plague Gay males as opposed to Lesbian females. There should be more concentrated efforts to identify and address health issues specific to each of these subcommunities. The aim of this paper is to identify various disparities in health that are related to the GLBT community, specifically the Lesbian community, and to present an effective intervention.
The Ongoing Struggle for a Family The most important thing in a family is that all the people in it love each other. This excerpt is from a childrens book, written by Lesley Newman, Called Heather Has Two Mommies. This story is intended to show kids that not everyones family is the same. Many reasons are given to dispute gay and lesbian parenting but all founded on some of the archaic beliefs that ...
Health disparities were identified in Healthy People 2010 as a major cause of concern within the United States that needed to be addressed (DHHS, 2000).
Although there is no universal definition of a “health disparity”, the term was defined by the National Institutes of Health as the, “differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among several population groups in the United States” (Perez, M.A. & Luquis, R.R., 2008).
Causes of health disparities include (but are not limited to): behavior, genetics, access to medical care, provider knowledge and attitudes, cultural values, and the environment (Chakravorty, 2009).
In order for elimination of health disparities to occur, each of these causes must be properly identified within the respective populations and then addressed.
Behaviors as they are related to health include any action taken by an individual that can positively or negatively affect their health. A person’s health behavior is indicative of that person’s health beliefs which can be shaped by a multitude of internal and environmental influences and are often shared by entire populations. Genetics are naturally inherited conditions that affects, “lifespan, healthiness, and the likelihood of developing certain illnesses” (WHO, 2009).
Access to medical care involves the ability of individuals in a population to access medical services due to cost, geography, or insurance status (Agency for healthcare research and quality, 2009).
Provider knowledge and cultural competence affects disparities as some providers’ cultural incompetence causes them to incorrectly identify and diagnose certain issues due to ignorance about cultural norms (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2009).
According to the assigned article, “Health Disparity and Structural Violence: How Fear Undermines Health Among Immigrants at Risk for Diabetes,” narratives tell the story of the interconnectedness between fear and health. Thematically, the issue of fear is a dominant feature that affects how an individual approaches day-to-day living and health. Explain the relationship between fear ...
Cultural values are significant as they affect the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of minority populations, public health policymakers and health professionals (Thomas, S.B., Fine, M.J., & Ibrahim, S.A., 2004).
Environment in regards to health disparity is any factor external to the individual that affects that person’s health (Breslow, L. & Cengage, G., 2006).
Environmental factors can be social, economic, physical or cultural (Breslow, L. & Cengage, G., 2006).
Health behaviors such as cigarette smoking, substance abuse, and risky sex practices are all behavior-related health determinants that contribute to disparities in health of the GLBT community (Benditt, L., Engel, E., Gavin, M., Stransky, E., 2009).
The GLBT community is at increased risk of numerous types of cancer especially lung cancer due to high cigarette use by the community (American Cancer Society, 2009).
The risk factors for cigarette smoking have not been concretely identified, but evidence shows psychological distress and a bar-centered culture as probable causes (Gardner, A., Mockus, D., & Meconis, K., 2007).
Similar evidence exists regarding substance abuse (Benditt, L., et al., 2009).
Risky sex practices are the more well known health behaviors that affect disparities for the GLBT community. In a self-reported survey, LGBT youths reported having more sexual partners than their heterosexual counterparts (Blake, S.M., Ledsky, R., Lehman, T., Goodenow, C., Sawyer, R., & Hack, T., 2001).
Risky behaviors such as these lead to disparities in HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.
Access to care is a prevailing issue in many populations. In the LGBT community it takes president because of the unique components that affect access to care. Many insurance policies have exclusions for “transgender-related services” even if medically necessary (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
Due to insurance exclusions such as these, providers often deny services to a person when it is not “gender appropriate” (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
Public health is concerned with improving the health of population, rather than treating the diseases of individual patients. If a condition has been discovered -they want to make sure they live longer by promoting and preventing diseases and complications. Public health is everyone around you and the involvement of the community. If public health is really effective then it will also help the NHS ...
For example, if a female to male transsexual needed gynecological care, they will likely be refused those services due to insurance exclusions (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
This results in many transsexual individuals being deterred from receiving medical care (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
Provider knowledge and cultural competence is one of the less covered causes of health disparities. Providers should work to understand the varied cultural norms of the communities that they serve. LGBT individuals are often discriminated against by medical providers (National Coalition of LGBT health, 2001).
Fear of discrimination causes fewer LGBT person’s to “come out” to their medical providers which results in inadequate screening, proper prevention, and intervention (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
The Lesbian community has its own set of unique unique health disparities. Lesbians are at a higher risk than heterosexual women for a host of health issues. Health disparities specific to the Lesbian community include: breast cancer, depression/anxiety, gynecological cancer, diet/exercise, substance use, tobacco, alcohol, domestic violence, osteoperosis, heart health, and sexually transmitted diseases (National Coalition of LGBT Health, 2001).
These health issues are exacerbated by the fact most providers have not been educated regarding these issues nor know what questions to ask regarding in assessment
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Just War Exercise We brainstormed in class about various 'causes of conflict'. Take a look at the menu the class came up with (it's a good one). Review the lecture notes, the textbook, and the video on Thursday. Write an essay on the topic 'When Is Military Intervention Justified'. The objective here is to get you to think about those factors, about your own personal knowledge of historical and ...
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