Transgender men's preferences when choosing obstetricians and gynecologists

Dror Lifshitz*, Iris Yaish, Gal Wagner-Kolasko, Yona Greenman, Yael Sofer, Sharon Alpern, Asnat Groutz, Foad Azem, Hadar Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Transgender men are a marginalized population with unique health care needs. However, their usage of health services is low because of considerable discrimination. A major factor in their avoidance is patient-provider interactions. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 102 transgender men who anonymously completed a 55-item questionnaire in clinic, between 10/2017 and 01/2019. In addition, 92 transgender women filled out the part about family physician’s preferences. We examined which characteristics transgender men prefer in their obstetricians/gynecologists in order to promote their usage of healthcare services. Results: A small majority of the transgender men (54.1%) had no gender preference for their obstetrician/gynecologist, while 42.9% preferred a female obstetrician/gynecologist and 3.1% preferred a male obstetrician/gynecologist. Most transgender men with a same-gender preference preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists for both invasive procedures (e.g., pelvic examination, 97.4%) and non-invasive procedures (e.g., cesarean section, 60%). The reasons for preferences regarding invasive procedures were feeling comfortable, embarrassment and feeling that female obstetricians/gynecologists are gentler. Transgender men who preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists ranked ability (90.5%), sexual tolerance (92.9%) and gender identity tolerance (90.5%) as the top three desirable qualities of obstetricians/gynecologists, while the responders who did not prefer female ranked ability (94.6%), experience (92.9%) and knowledge (92.9%) as the top three qualities. Transgender men with female preferences considered female obstetricians/gynecologists to be more accepting of gender identity compared to the responders that did not prefer females (47.5% vs. 9.1%, P <.001). Conclusion: A small majority of the transgender men exhibited no gender preference when choosing an obstetrician/gynecologist, although 42.9% preferred females. The latter choice was associated with the assumption that female obstetricians/gynecologists are more tolerant towards their transgender men patients. Educating the medical staff about their special needs and establishing dedicated SGM centers staffed with high percentages of female healthcare providers are highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Obstetricians/gynecologists
  • Sexual and gender minorities
  • Tolerant
  • Transgender men

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