Comparing the Healthcare Utilization and Engagement in a Sample of Transgender and Cisgender Bisexual+ Persons

Author Type(s)


Document Type


Publication Date

January 2019

Journal Title

Archives of Sexual Behavior


Public Health


People who identify as non-monosexual and transgender experience disparities in engagement with healthcare services relative to monosexual and cisgender persons, respectively. However, little is known about the healthcare utilization of those with intersecting sexual and gender minority identities. We explored the knowledge, attitudes, and health motivation of non-monosexually identified transgender participants regarding preventive care and access to sexual healthcare services. We surveyed 87 ciswomen, 34 transwomen, and 27 transmen, all of whom identified as bisexual, pansexual, or queer (bi+). We assessed their access to health care, health outcome experiences, confidence with talking about anogenital topics, proactivity toward their health, comfort with healthcare providers, and knowledge about HPV and examined differences across groups. The data indicated that bi+ transmen and transwomen were more likely to be uninsured or on a government-sponsored insurance plan relative to bi+ ciswomen. Only a minority of transmen and transwomen had seen an obstetrician/gynecologist compared with ciswomen. Transmen were less likely to have received a pelvic examination or cervical Pap smear in their lifetime. Transgender participants had significantly less correct knowledge about HPV relative to ciswomen. Finally, relative to ciswomen, transgender participants reported lower comfort talking with health providers. Our findings suggest that bi+ transmen and transwomen access care less than bi+ ciswomen and have less health knowledge and comfort with their providers. Implications for intervention include encouraging transgender individuals to seek routine screenings, reducing structural barriers to care based on medical coverage, and improving patient-provider competencies around bi+ and transgender health needs.