Sexual Orientation Question - page 2

by wish_me_luck 8,269 Views | 82 Comments

I have been thinking about this lately...and I am being serious when I ask this; but, with all the advancements in knowing about risk factors for various diseases (especially STIs), what does sexual orientation have to do with... Read More


  1. 6
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    Hidden, I am asking what everyone's (who reads this) opinion is on the whole question of "do you sleep with men, women, or both?". Is it even relevant? If so, why do you think that?

    My opinion is that it should not be asked because it is irrelevant due to the fact that most diseases/education/health promotion activities are universal--does not matter sexual orientation. I cannot think of anything good coming out of asking it, only discrimination.

    Now, what's your opinion?
    What I already posted- that you can't treat the full person's sexual and reproductive health without asking about sexuality and sexual activities. In addition to having been asked about sexual partners (gender and quantity) I also have been asked about safe sex practices like condom/barrier use and other birth control.

    Yes, providers can be biased, and having many friends who are LGBTQ, I know that it can be difficult for them to find providers who are non-judgmental and supportive. But I think the solution to that is not to pretend that sexuality isn't part of a person's health assessment, but to educate and encourage providers to accept that human sexuality is varied.
    canoehead, OCNRN63, joanna73, and 3 others like this.
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    I think you post is amazing, in that it forces peeps to realize that- wow- straight people are getting HIV, men are getting HPV, chlamydia is 'all over the place', and that not one type or group or subset is more at risk, or more at risk of transmitting, some pretty serious diseases. I've never seen it addressed in such a 'prescient' manner. And thanks for giving me a reason to drop that word- I love it!
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    You may want to check out Primary System - GLMA Home Page. They have patient handouts that explain some of what you're asking. These handouts can be found at Primary System - Top 10 Health Issues
    Esme12 and hiddencatRN like this.
  4. 9
    Quote from BostonFNP
    Absolutely ask. The answer modifies both your assessment and screening tests.

    Edit: At least in my job it matters.
    I agree. Would you teach a gay man about using condoms to prevent pregnancy? What about a straight man? The motivation for a heterosexual sexually active 19 yr old male to wear a condom may be more related to his desire to not impregnate his partner than it is to his fear of catching an STI.

    Would you feel the need to teach a lesbian about birth control pills? About diaphragms or cervical caps?

    Sexual health is not just about STDs.
    opossum, ExPharmaGirl, joanna73, and 6 others like this.
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    Quote from wish_me_luck
    Boston, how does it affect your job and screenings/assessments? I mean, if I went to you, and you asked me that question and I answered I sleep with women or both, what are you going to do assessment/screening/educational wise that is different than if I answered men? Either way, you would still do a pap smear, STI screenings (yes, HIV can still be passed female to female; although, the risk is much lower than female/male or male/male sex), and other routine assessments.

    However, if you think being homosexual or bisexual is wrong (I am not accusing, just explaining), you might be apt to treat me differently (in a discriminatory way) than a patient who is heterosexual.
    In the 1990's maybe, it would have been relevant to ask a man if he had sex with men. Since, like it says, STDs are all over the place and no longer confined to gays, straights, etc.- I don't see the point in questioning sexuality- other than maybe, 'do you have sex outside of your relationship, and if yes- are you taking precautions to protect that person from your indiscretions', and use it as a teaching opportunity. In fact, I find it rather ...lewd. All it can do is label him/her, with no benefit. But with a lot of potential harm.
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    Quote from SuzieVN
    In the 1990's maybe, it would have been relevant to ask a man if he had sex with men. Since, like it says, STDs are all over the place and no longer confined to gays, straights, etc.- I don't see the point in questioning sexuality- other than maybe, 'do you have sex outside of your relationship, and if yes- are you taking precautions to protect that person from your indiscretions', and use it as a teaching opportunity. In fact, I find it rather ...lewd. All it can do is label him/her, with no benefit. But with a lot of potential harm.
    Lol, asking about cheating and indiscretions is ok, but asking about partners and practices in order to tailor education and screenings leads to judgment?
    rn/writer, KelRN215, grownuprosie, and 5 others like this.
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    As far as condoms, I was always taught that it was not only to prevent pregnancy, but also STIs. BC pills have other uses, not only to prevent pregnancy. They can get a period on a predictable schedule among other uses.
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    What do you want to ask about partners- are they male, female, both, half and half, in transition, tranny, etc? As far as practices, my post said to ask- is you are risking someone ELSE'S health, was what I meant to imply. If so, they need talked to, for sure. Doesn't matter the sex of the partners, my opinion. I know a LOT of gay men that are married to women, and have sex with men, and the women have no clue.

    That said- how many people are honest about anything during an H&P?...
  9. 8
    Quote from SuzieVN
    What do you want to ask about partners- are they male, female, both, half and half, in transition, tranny, etc? As far as practices, my post said to ask- is you are risking someone ELSE'S health, was what I meant to imply. If so, they need talked to, for sure. Doesn't matter the sex of the partners, my opinion. I know a LOT of gay men that are married to women, and have sex with men, and the women have no clue.

    That said- how many people are honest about anything during an H&P?...
    So, "are you a cheating scumbag who needs a come-to-Jesus talk from your PCP" is not judgmental, but knowing that you need to discuss screening for rectal cancer, hepatitis and eating disorders with a gay man is being lewd and intrusive?
    opossum, grownuprosie, joanna73, and 5 others like this.
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    Quote from wish_me_luck
    As far as condoms, I was always taught that it was not only to prevent pregnancy, but also STIs. BC pills have other uses, not only to prevent pregnancy. They can get a period on a predictable schedule among other uses.
    Of course condoms are not just for preventing pregnancy, my point is that you're not going to use "you don't want to accidentally get your partner pregnant" as a reason to encourage a gay man to use a condom. He's not worried about that, so telling him that is not going to increase the odds that he uses a condom. A heterosexual 20 year old college male on an athletic scholarship is probably much more concerned about the possibility of accidental fatherhood than his gay roommate is.

    Birth control has other uses and I wound imagine providers would offer it to women with irregular periods or severe cramps regardless of her sexual orientation but in a woman who has regular periods and no complaints and is in a same-sex relationship, there's really no need to offer her the pill or encourage her to go on it. Providers often assume that teenage and college aged women "need" the pill when they very well may not and in order to assess whether or not it should be offered/prescribed, a full sexual history should be noted.


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