Sexual Health news - Women’s Sexual Health

Study: Lesbian and bisexual women more likely to report abuse

According to a new study published in the journal Sex Roles, adult lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to report that they were abused during their childhood and sexually assaulted as an adult, compared to straight women.

Researchers used online data collected from approximately 1,200 females through the Rainbow Women's Project, which surveys individuals who identify as a sexual minority. They found that out of the 40 percent of the subjects who identified as "femme" and the 15 percent who disclosed being "butch," abuse among butch women was more likely to be physical and emotional, whereas femme females reported more sexual assaults.

"Given the gravity of this widespread problem, identifying the most vulnerable among this group is critical," said Keren Lehavot, M.D., leader of the study. "Clinicians and providers working with sexual minorities should consider the role of gender identity and expression in targeted assessments and interventions."

It is not completely understood why lesbian and bisexual women are at an increased risk of abuse. However, victims of sexual assault may be more likely to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that such individuals should not be forced to get screened right after an assault, and that testing may be deferred to a later time in order to reduce patient trauma.