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Safe Sex Practices

Dam It! The Sexual Health Practices of Self-Identified Lesbian, Bisexual, and Straight Women - Katheryn Morrison, Flora Oswald, & Cory L. Pedersen 


Research on the sexual health behaviors of women who have sex with women (WSW) and women who have sex with women and men (WSWM) is scarce. This paucity, along with heteronormative sexual health education, has created a societal discourse that fails to acknowledge the sexual experiences of WSW and WSWM, consequently impacting their attitudes and behaviors. WSW often report protection non-use due to perceived lack of STI risk; safe sex practices amongst WSW and WSWM are inconsistent and often altogether absent. Research in this area also suffers from methodological issues, such as using narrow definitions of protection, or considering only a small range of sexual behaviors.


Given the limited scope of previous research, our study will develop a more thorough understanding of the safe sex behaviors of WSW and WSWM by utilising novel, broad conceptualizations of sexual behaviors and protective measures. Upon completion of an online demographic questionnaire querying relationship status, sexual health history, and experiences of sexual orientation stigma, participants indicated the sexual behaviors in which they have engaged (with women and/or men) and their use/non-uses of protection. They were also asked to indicate the degree of perceived STI risk associated with various sexual behaviors.


Poster presentation delivered at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Denver, CO, 2019.

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