Once a lesbian always a lesbian, right? Or not?
Are people's sexual attractions likely to change as they age? That's the question at the core of an ongoing debate as to whether or not sexuality remains stable throughout a person's life. An upcoming presentation at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia October 11-14, will review the latest research on the prevalence of same-sex sexuality and sexual fluidity and their implications for healthcare providers.
Sexual fluidity is not a new concept, but has recently gotten a lot more attention because of high-profile celebrities openly announcing their change in sexual status, making it somewhat fashionable to change sides. That doesn't mean women are intentionally changing their sexual orientation, but for various reasons, such change is often happening later in women's lives and may actually change back-and-forth multiple times during different life stages throughout a woman's lifetime.
"We see a lot on the topic of sexual fluidity in the media, but it seems as if little of this information has trickled down into clinical practice," says Dr. Lisa Diamond from the University of Utah, who will be discussing lesbian sexuality and fluidity and their implications on women's healthcare at the NAMS Annual Meeting. "Healthcare providers need to recognize this new reality and incorporate it into their approaches to caring for their female patients."
"Women should always be encouraged to have an open dialogue with their healthcare providers about a wide array of health concerns and also feel comfortable in discussing any lifestyle changes. This presentation should remind us that we need to ask questions and not assume a patient's sexual orientation when discussing their concerns," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.