Research into sexual wellbeing is launched

Published: 4 September 2018 at 10:12

Professor Catherine Meads

Professor to build evidence base of issues facing lesbian and bisexual women

Anglia Ruskin University is involved in a major piece of research into the sexual wellbeing of women who have sex with women, launched by the LGBT Foundation.

Programme leaders earmarked this as a priority due to a significant lack of evidence in the UK about the sexual wellbeing of lesbian and bisexual women and other women who have sex with women. Previous research in this area took a more clinical approach to sexual health but excluded other factors including pleasure, exploration, health, access to services, confidence, and consent.

According to the National LGB&T partnership, almost 60% of lesbian and bisexual women say it’s difficult to find information about sexual health that is relevant to them.

Claudia Carvell, Women’s Programme Coordinator at LGBT Foundation, said: 

“The data we gather will provide us with a greater understanding of the needs of lesbian and bisexual women, and will be used to benefit all aspects of the sexual wellbeing campaign in the short term, and improve services and support nationally in the long term.”

The Women’s Programme team, led by Claudia Carvell and researcher Alison Condron, will canvas the opinion of between 300 and 500 people lesbian and bisexual women and other women who have sex with women, between August and November, after which the results will be released and shared with the wider community, the sector, media and influencers nationally.

Findings from the survey will be discussed at focus groups at the end of the year, which will be opened up to community members and partner organisations in different locations across the UK. The final report will be published in March 2019.

Claudia continued: 

“We will take the findings of the survey to discussion and focus groups on the themes and topics presented in the results. Every aspect of this research will be accessible to women from all backgrounds, including black women, women of colour, trans women, non-binary people, disabled women, older women, women engaged in sex work, and with no access to public funds. 

“We welcome support and involvement from community leaders and groups working in these areas to ensure every woman who has sex with women can have her voice heard.”

Anglia Ruskin’s Professor Catherine Meads, who is working with the LGBT Foundation on the study, said: 

“I am delighted to be collaborating with the LGBT Foundation on this very important piece of research. Sexual minority women’s sexual health and wellbeing is a very under-researched area and this research will contribute much needed information that can help influence service delivery.”