Research from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) is shedding light on health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ people in Australia.
Acting Director, Professor Adam Bourne, said the Centre hosts the largest studies of LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing ever conducted in Australia.
“This research helps us learn more about how to prevent ill-health in these communities and how we can provide support to LGBTQ+ people in ways that ensure they feel understood, included and safe. This is the focus of much of our work.”
“Unfortunately, our surveys tell us that 30.3% of LGBTQ+ adults have attempted suicide at some point in their lives while 25.0% of LGBTQ+ young people aged 14-21 have had the same experience. Family violence is also experienced at a rate two and a half times higher among LGBTQ+ adults compared to heterosexual and/or cisgender people,” Professor Bourne explains.
“The reasons behind these disparities are multifaceted but are very often associated with experiences of homophobia, transphobia or biphobia, which are still highly prevalent in Australia today.”
Professor Bourne says that while we have extensive data about the prevalence and nature of health disparities experienced by this population, there is still more to learn.
“It is important to understand how and why such disparities come about, particularly for those whose identities intersect with other marginalised communities, such as LGBTQ+ people with disability, those from multicultural backgrounds or those who are living in rural or remote locations.”
Data from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society has informed a wide range of government health and wellbeing initiatives.
“We have provided granular insights into how different parts of the LGBTQ+ community experience health and wellbeing. LGBTQ+ people are highly diverse, not just according to gender and sexuality but also in terms of ethnicity, religion, ability, or where they live,” says Professor Bourne.
“We have also furthered our knowledge of protective health factors, including things like being supported and affirmed by others, having access to LGBTQ+ communities and having a supporting and knowledgeable healthcare provider.”
“Ultimately we hope our research will further our understanding of and improve health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people in Australia.”