132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Diversity within Diversity: Understanding the Impact of Gender Identity on Cancer Screening Adherence among African American Lesbians

Cheryl Pearson-Fields, MPH1, Ami Gaston, MA2, Kelly Raiser, MPH2, and Linda Fischer, PhD3. (1) The Mautner Project for Lesbians With Cancer, 1707 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, 202-332-5536, cfields@mautnerproject.org, (2) Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 230, Washington, DC 20036, (3) WLN Research & Evaluation, PO Box 65426, Washington, DC 20035

African American lesbians (AAL) may face health disparities based on dual status of race and sexual orientation. Although research has shown diminished utilization of preventive health screenings for lesbians few studies have examined differences within the lesbian community. This study examines cancer screening of butch, femme, and androgynous lesbians. 502 AAL (86%) and bisexual (12%) women participated in a national cross-sectional study. Overall during the past year, 53% of women 40+ have had a mammogram, 60% of all women had a CBE and 65% had a PAP. Only a third (33%) perform monthly BSE. 40% of respondents identified as femme, 39% androgynous, and 21% as butch. 72% of femmes had a PAP test within the past year, compared to 62% and 61% for butches and androgynous women respectively (p=.042). CBE were similar across gender identities (GI) with more femmes (67%) receiving CBE than both butch (59.0%) and androgynous women (54%). 65% of femmes received a mammogram in the past year compared to only 43% of androgynous women. Overall, only 25.8% of femmes met all the cancer screening guidelines set forth by the ACS compared to 20% of butch and 13.7% of androgynous women. Being “out” and recency of last physical exam emerged as strongly correlated to adherence across the GIs (p <.001). Number of barriers/advantages, serious health conditions and insurance also played a role in adherence. Gender identity may help to explain differences in cancer screening for African American lesbians. Health promotion interventions should address the diversity among lesbians.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session the learner will be able to

Keywords: African American, Lesbian Health

Related Web page: www:spiritstudy.org, www.mautnerproject.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA