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Comparison of U.S. Gay and Heterosexual Veteran Health Services

Smith, Lauren (2013) Comparison of U.S. Gay and Heterosexual Veteran Health Services. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Gay U.S. service members have existed since the beginning of the U.S. military, however only recently have these individuals been permitted to be open about their sexual orientation. As gay service members return home, transition to veteran status, and begin accessing much needed health services this lack of recognition continues. This unique minority status may translate to substandard health care services and difficult access to health care services for this population. Equal and timely access of services is a significant public health issue for all marginalized populations. This paper begin with a review of the current literature regarding healthcare for veterans, and health care for gay males, in order to identify potential gaps in gay male veteran health care. In addition, ten interviews, five with self-identified gay male veterans and five with self-identified heterosexual male veterans, were conducted to better understand the differences in health care services and health care needs for this population. This study identifies the gaps that exist in health care services for gay veterans including acknowledgement of sexual orientation by health care providers, lack of cultural sensitivity among health care professionals, and unique mental health implications for gay veterans. Implications of this study include the need for more research of gay veterans, the need for cultural awareness training among Veteran’s Affairs employees, and the need for mental health services specifically tailored for gay veterans.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smith, Lauren
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFriedman, Markmsf11@pitt.eduMSF11UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberWinter, Elizabetheaw44@pitt.eduEAW44UNSPECIFIED
Date: 9 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 15:01
Last Modified: 03 May 2022 10:55


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