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The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding
Very little research has been done on health outcomes resulting from LGBT people’s lack of access to and utilization of health care services.
With respect to health services, LGBT adults appear to have different access and utilization patterns. Some research suggests that sexual-minority adults access mental health services more than their heterosexual counterparts.
Some studies indicate that lesbians and bisexual women use preventive services less than heterosexual women, but these studies are not conclusive.
Lack of health insurance (including the exclusion of some services, such as sex reassignment surgery, by third-party payers), fear of discrimination from providers, and dissatisfaction with services may act as barriers to accessing all health services for LGBT adults.
Very little research has been conducted on the quality of care experienced by sexual and gender minorities.
Limited data suggest high satisfaction rates with transgender-specific health care services among transgender patients when those services are accessible from knowledgeable providers.
While limited research suggests there are racial/ethnic differences in the health of LGBT adults, very little research has examined differences based on geographic or other sociodemographic factors.
Gay men and lesbians are less likely to be parents than their heterosexual peers. The health implications of this have been largely unstudied.
Development among the children of lesbian and gay parents has received a great deal of attention. Studies show that these children are well adjusted and developmentally similar to the children of different-sex parents. Limited research suggests that substantial numbers of transgender people are parents, and their children appear to be developing in healthy ways.
Although a number of studies provide useful information on the health status of LGBT adults, very limited data exist in some areas. The research that has been conducted has been uneven in that it has been much less likely to focus on bisexual and transgender people, and within-group differences