Comparing the Healthcare Utilization and Engagement in a Sample of Transgender and Cisgender Bisexual+ Persons
People who identify as non-monosexual and transgender experience disparities in engagement with healthcare services relative to monosexual and cisgender persons, respectively. However, little is known about the healthcare utilization of those with intersecting sexual and gender minority identities. We explored the knowledge, attitudes, and health motivation of non-monosexually identified transgender participants regarding preventive care and access to sexual healthcare services. We surveyed 87 ciswomen, 34 transwomen, and 27 transmen, all of whom identified as bisexual, pansexual, or queer (bi+). We assessed their access to health care, health outcome experiences, confidence with talking about anogenital topics, proactivity toward their health, comfort with healthcare providers, and knowledge about HPV and examined differences across groups. The data indicated that bi+ transmen and transwomen were more likely to be uninsured or on a government-sponsored insurance plan relative to bi+ ciswomen. Only a minority of transmen and transwomen had seen an obstetrician/gynecologist compared with ciswomen. Transmen were less likely to have received a pelvic examination or cervical Pap smear in their lifetime. Transgender participants had significantly less correct knowledge about HPV relative to ciswomen. Finally, relative to ciswomen, transgender participants reported lower comfort talking with health providers. Our findings suggest that bi+ transmen and transwomen access care less than bi+ ciswomen and have less health knowledge and comfort with their providers. Implications for intervention include encouraging transgender individuals to seek routine screenings, reducing structural barriers to care based on medical coverage, and improving patient–provider competencies around bi+ and transgender health needs.
KeywordsBisexual Sexual orientation Transgender Gender identity Sexual health care Preventive care
We would like to acknowledge the Division of Health Behavior and Community Health at the School of Health Sciences & Practice, New York Medical College, for its funding. We would also like to thank Dr. Greenberg, Dr. Liberatos, Dr. Watson, Atticus Ranck, Dr. Jason Ong, Dr. Brian Mustanski, and Dr. Brian Feinstein for their guidance, support, and advice.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
A waiver of informed consent was granted by the Institutional Review Board at New York Medical College.
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