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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464

Abstract

BARBOSA, Regina Maria  and  FACCHINI, Regina. Access to sexual health care for women who have sex with women in São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, suppl.2, pp.s291-s300. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009001400011.

This article focuses on the relationship between health care for women who have sex with women and representations of gender, sexuality, and the body. The study used ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews held from 2003 to 2006, with 30 women ranging from 18 to 45 years of age, belonging to different social segments, backgrounds, and sexual identities, living in Greater Metropolitan São Paulo. Analysis of the material pointed to greater difficulty in accessing gynecological care for lower-income women, those who had never had sex with men, or those with masculine body language. Not only the negative representations and experiences in relation to health services, but also identity constructions concerning gender and sexuality, are related to difficulties in accessing health care. Although a large share of the relevant international literature emphasizes the relationship between homophobia and decreased access to health services, the findings suggest that although situations involving discrimination are a reality, they were not considered impediments to the search for care, and were more associated with reporting of erotic practices and preferences at the services.

Keywords : Health Services Accessibility; Female Homosexuality; Sexual Behavior.

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