Kirsty Clark, a Masters of Public Health candidate at the Yale School of Public Health, spent May – July 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon conducting research on how sexual stigma against women in Lebanon influences sexual healthcare. Kirsty conducted 21 interviews with NGO workers and physicians in the field of sexual health.
Here is the abstract of the study, the full publication is in press:
Research and reporting surrounding women’s sexual health in Lebanon is scarce. There is currently no reliable data on rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), level of sexual health knowledge, or information regarding access points of sexual health care among women. Using individual semi-structured qualitative interviews, investigators conducted formative research to gain a deeper understanding of sexual health among women in Lebanon. Using multiple purposive and snowball sampling strategies, 21 key informants were recruited from a number of regions in Lebanon. 11 of the key informants are physicians (OBGYNs and Infectious Disease) and 9 are staff (non-physicians) at STI/HIV Voluntary Testing and Counseling (VCT) centers. Findings suggest that sexual stigma against women acts insidiously at each level of the social-ecological model (internalized, relationship with healthcare providers, community/family, and societal) to inhibit women’s knowledge and access surrounding sexual health care. Findings can be utilized to inform sexual health interventions and as foundation for further research.