Sexual identity labels and perceived health needs among sexual minority women in Mumbai, India
Objective: This project qualitatively examines sexual minority women’s identity labels and perceived health needs in Mumbai, India
Methods: This study included 12 in-depth interviews (10 lesbian identified, 2 bisexually identified women) and one focus group discussion (5 lesbian identified women, 1 bisexually identified) conducted in Mumbai, India. All were conducted in Hindi and English. Interviews and the focus group were recorded, then translated and transcribed in English. Themes from both the focus group and interviews are reported together.
Results: Identity labels of “women who love women” aligned primarily with Western labels. Main themes of perceived risk and protective factors based on an ecological model were reported and discussed. Gender identity was more salient than sexual identity for some participants, given the patriarchal climate of Mumbai. Participants emphasized macro-level (e.g., legal and criminal consequences) and interpersonal level (e.g., family acceptance) needs. Communities of sexual minority women, both in India and internationally, were positive factors and assisted some participants in identity formation.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the risk and protective factors operating at various ecological levels in the perceived health needs of sexual minority women in Mumbai, India Identify aspects of binegativity for sexual minority women in Mumbai Describe identity labels of sexual minority women in Mumbai
Keyword(s): International Health, Community-Based Research (CBPR)
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jessamyn is the Project Coordinator at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and a Public Health PhD student at Indiana University. She received her Master in Public Health with a focus on Health Behavior and Health Promotion from the University of Arizona. Her primary research foci are sexual minorities, global health, subjective experiences of sexuality and pleasure, and community-based participatory research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.