Ashley Kraus, Postdoctoral researcher/fellow
SGM health, adolescent health, healthcare experiences
Introduction: Fear of stigma or rejection by healthcare providers prevents sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth from receiving adequate sexual healthcare. Further, SGM individuals who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) are understudied in this area. Responding to this gap in the literature, the present study examined healthcare experiences of SGM adolescents who were AFAB. Methods: As part of a larger online survey study in spring 2017, SGM and AFAB youth ages 14-17 (n = 234) answered questions assessing their experiences with healthcare providers relative to their SGM identity. Most participants identified as cisgender female (n= 104, 44.4%), while 23.1% (n= 54) identified as trans men, and 16.5% (n= 62) identified as genderqueer or gender nonconforming. Results: Only 29.9% (n= 70) of SGM AFAB youth in this study had spoken with a provider about their sexual orientation, 19.7% (n= 46) had discussed their gender identity. In addition, 19.8% (n= 45) felt comfortable talking to their doctor about their sexual orientation, and 20% (n= 26) felt comfortable discussing their gender identity. These experiences were related to how ‘out’ they were about their sexual orientation. Participants who were more out about were less likely avoid sexual health topics with their doctors. Further, outness was correlated with an increase in perceived helpfulness of healthcare providers regarding sexual health. Conclusions: A lack of comfort with healthcare providers might prevent SGM AFAB individuals from seeking sexual healthcare. These data could inform healthcare providers how to better instill trust with SGM AFAB patients.