Some news months are very quiet. But as it’s said, “It never rains but it pours”. These last two months flooded my inbox. Whew!
Sexual orientation (LGB) news
- A meta-analysis of women who identify as lesbian found that roughly 48% had experienced domestic violence of some sort in their lifetimes. 15% of lesbians surveyed were currently experiencing domestic violence. Most of the violence experienced was emotional (43% of lesbians). Source.
- Even after a cancer diagnosis, gay men report poorer health habits than their heterosexual peers. Such habits include tobacco use, infrequent exercise, high levels of psychological stress, and substance use. Any difference between gay and straight men with regards to cancer diagnosis may be a result of different levels of HIV infection. Source.
- Women who have sex with women are at higher risk for suicide than heterosexual women. The same was not seen for men. Non-heterosexual men and women did not appear to be at higher risk for death in general than their het peers. Source.
- Gay and bisexual men appear to be underestimating their chances of acquiring HIV and may be missing out on preventative treatment. Source.
- A study of ex-ex-gay men found that realizing that sexual orientation change was not possible was the reason for abandoning reparative therapy. Reparative therapy itself resulted in negative mental health and shame for these men. Source.
- Rates of syphilis are going up among men who have sex with men. Remember to use protection and get tested! Source.
Transgender, gender identity, intersex news
- A paper was published acknowledging that research on transgender youth was limited at best. This paper advocated for early identification and treatment for the health of the youth. Source.
- A study of young trans men using subcutaneous testosterone found that subcutaneous testosterone is effective and safe in short-term use. Monthly bleeding stopped within 3 months and most men in the study reached cis male testosterone levels within 6 months. Source.
- A list of clinics providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender children and youth was published. Source (PDF).
- A summary article was published summarizing the current state of challenges facing transgender youth within medicine. Source. Another similar article, intended to familiarize a pediatrician with cross-sex hormone treatments, was published. Source.
- In-person survey results may differ significantly from online survey results within the trans population. An analysis of data from the National Transgender Discrimination Study found that people who took the survey in person were more likely to be young, relatively poorer, trans women who also were more likely to report being HIV positive and use substances. Data from in-person vs online studies should be interpreted accordingly. Source.
- An open access article was published exploring the lives of several waria, trans feminine people from Indonesia. Most felt that any potential risk in risky transition-related behaviors (e.g., taking hormonal contraception pills, silicone injection) was worth it. Source.
- Quality of life for intersex people seems to vary widely, depending partially on where they received medical care as children. Source.
- A review of the care of intersex children concluded that it “requires acceptance of the fact that deviation from the traditional definitions of gender is not necessarily pathologic”. The review also advocated integrated peer support for intersex individuals and the development of skilled and trained teams of professionals to assist families. Source.
- A case report of a trans woman with BRCA1 was described. BRCA1 is one of the gene mutations that results in a high risk of breast cancer. This woman chose to have medical care as usual, and did not opt for a preventative mastectomy. BRCA1 presents a challenge for all women, but the combination of a BRCA1 gene and estrogen may accelerate a possible breast cancer. Source.
- A case report of a trans woman developing psychosis when abruptly stopping hormone therapy was reported. Her psychosis resolved when she started hormone therapy again. Source.
- For relationships between trans women and cis men, both partners may be at risk for increased psychosocial stress because of transphobia. Source.
- A comparison of rural vs nonrural trans people was published, confirming that rural trans people need medical and mental health services too. Source (full text!)
- Roughly 16% of trans women in the San Francisco Bay Area were found to have used fillers such as silicone. Please don’t do this! It can, and does, cause death. Source.
Sexuality, minority sexual behavior news
- A pair of case reports of urethral sounding came out, this time from Korea. As a reminder: electrical cables and magnets do not make for good sounding instruments. No matter how embarrassing, remember to get medical care when you need it! Thankfully for these two men the objects were removed, though one removal did require surgery. Source (NSFW images).
- A review of changes to the paraphilia section of the DSM-V found that some of the changes make it more likely that someone will be falsely diagnosed with a paraphilia. Source.
- Another study on personality traits of people diagnosable with paraphilias was published. The abstract isn’t really detailed enough to really see what the results were, but this is one to keep an eye on… Source.
- An exploration of the psychological and sexual sides to apotemnophilia (desire to have an amputation of a healthy limb) was published. Source.
- Comparison of self-identified swingers and self-identified polyamorous people found that both groups were more likely to seek psychological care when they needed it than the general population. Poly folk and swingers were also more likely to report that they were satisfied with life. Source (full text!).
- Debates continue on the definition of paraphilias, and their inclusion in the DSM. Source.
- A study of some in the Adult Baby/Diaper Love communities found that few in those communities have problems with their interests. Source.
- A case of inability to urinate was presented. The cause? A sex toy that had been accidentally left in her vagina 10 years previously. Retained objects like that can cause fistulas (holes – either between the rectum and the vagina or the bladder and the vagina). The woman in the case had surgery. Source.
- Among opposite-sex couples vasectomy was found to increase sexual satisfaction for both partners. Source.
Miscellaneous and general news
- A number of Hispanic medical organizations came out in support of LGBT health. Source.
- Almost half of LGBT people living in Nebraska had considered suicide in their lifetime. Source.
- Some 80% of German medical students express interest in learning about human sexuality. Despite efforts to increase education for decades, only half of those students were able to correctly answer questions on human sexuality. Source.