Heterosexism in medicine: Lesbians' access to and quality of healthcare
LE3 .A278 2010
Bachelor of Arts
In this thesis, I ask whether lesbians have equal access to healthcare and whether the healthcare they receive is in an environment of respect, free from discrimination. I use data gathered from various scholarly texts and journals to explore women and medicine in history, women and medicine in the new millennium, heterosexism in medicine, lesbians and gynecological care, and lesbians and pregnancy. Looking through a lens of feminist standpoint theory, I conduct four semi- structured interviews with lesbian women in Nova Scotia to explore their experiences in healthcare. The interviews dissect a variety of themes, including medicine‟ s assumption of heterosexuality, physician sensitivity, the effects of patient perception, and healthcare decision- making. My key finding shows that with increased age and education, women are more able to exercise agency and challenge the power relations that exist in healthcare, and thus are better equipped to receive quality healthcare. Finally, I address solutions for a more inclusive healthcare system, involving both policy planners and healthcare professionals.
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