Gender Minority Adults Are Vulnerable During Full Body Skin Exam

Gender queer and transgender individuals more likely to report discomfort than sexual minority cisgender females, males
Gender Minority Adults Are Vulnerable During Full Body Skin Exam
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, Feb. 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Within the sexual and gender minority (SGM) population, gender minority adults are more likely to report discomfort during full body skin examinations (FBSEs), according to a research letter published online Jan. 31 in JAMA Dermatology.

Michelle Verghese, from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and colleagues used data from a sample of SGM individuals aged 18 years or older to examine perspectives surrounding FBSEs.

Overall, 175 participants completed the survey and 42.8 percent reported ever having had a FBSE. The researchers found that 33.3 percent of those who underwent a FBSE reported discomfort during the examination. Discomfort was more likely to be reported by gender nonconforming, gender queer, and nonbinary (gender queer) and transgender individuals compared with sexual minority cisgender females and males (57.7 versus 25.6 percent). Compared with sexual minority cisgender males, sexual minority cisgender females were also more likely to report discomfort (37.5 versus 11.1 percent). Reasons related to undressing during the examination were more likely to be a reason for discomfort among gender queer, sexual minority cisgender female, and transgender respondents than sexual minority cisgender males; they were also more likely to report discrimination or nonaffirming interactions with medical practitioners and staff. Gender queer and transgender respondents were more likely to cite being misgendered during the appointment and to experience uncomfortable examination maneuvers.

"Our findings suggest that stigma and discrimination can negatively affect skin cancer screening experiences for SGM patients, serving as a substantial barrier," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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