Predictors of Sexual Orientation Disclosure in Healthcare Among Lesbian and Bisexual Women

Presented by Laura E. Durso, Ph.D., Public Policy Fellow, The Williams Institute

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
UCLA CHS Building
Room 33-105A
*The CHS Building is connected to the Factor and Life Sciences building.

Recent reports from the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have highlighted disparities on multiple health status indicators, including disease states and health behaviors, among lesbians, bisexual and heterosexual women in the U.S.  As the provision of medically and culturally appropriate care may be dependent on a provider’s awareness of a patient’s sexual orientation, fear of disclosure of sexual orientation to healthcare providers may be among the factors explaining the prevalence of poor health markers among sexual minority women.  Dr. Durso’s presentation will review evidence of health disparities among lesbians and bisexual women, highlight research linking disclosure of sexual orientation to health markers, and present new research examining factors predicting the disclosure of sexual orientation to healthcare providers among sexual minority women.

About the speaker:
Laura Durso is a Public Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of law.  Her research interests include the psychological impacts of discrimination on stigmatized groups, particularly in the areas of eating and weight-related concerns and internalized bias. Prior to working at the Williams Institute, she worked at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Pacific Islands Division and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Durso holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University. Her research has been published in several high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, including Obesity, the International Journal of Obesity, and the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

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