Attitudes of Health Professionals towards Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Report

The research titled “Attitudes of Health Professionals towards Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity,” conducted within the scope of the Rainbow Project, aimed to promote LGBTI+ inclusivity in the education and healthcare sectors in the northern part of Cyprus, funded by the European Union under the Cypriot Civil Society in Action VII Grant Program and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association, has been published and made available online.

In this study, a general attitude scale and an emotion thermometer were used to assess the attitudes of teachers and psychological counsellors and guidance professionals in the northern part of Cyprus towards LGBTI+s, as part of the efforts to create an LGBTI+ inclusive curriculum in the education sector. Additionally, the research included questions about myths surrounding LGBTI+s and particularly about the stigmatization of LGBTI+s in the school environment, as indicators of knowledge. Lastly, demographic characteristics and questions regarding past education and experience on LGBTI+ topics were included. This research was conducted by Prof. Dr. Shenel Hüsnü Raman and research assistants Ziba Sertbay and Kaan Berkan. Data was collected over a period of 3 months in the late months of 2022 by a counseling and research center.

The first section of the report provides information about the objectives of the Rainbow project, the negative attitudes towards LGBTI+s in the northern part of Cyprus, and the local situation drawn from prior research conducted by the Queer Cyprus Association. Furthermore, this section addressed the attitudes of health professionals towards LGBTI+s, as well as the current state of research in the global literature. In the second section of the report, detailed information about the sample, which includes healthcare professionals, is presented. The third section of the research discusses information about LGBTI+s, common misconceptions (myths), attitudes in healthcare settings, information about the inequalities faced by LGBTI+ s in healthcare environments, general attitudes and emotions, and experiences with LGBTI+ patients/clients. This section also includes an examination of attitude indicators between local research and previous findings worldwide.  The final section of the report provides conclusions and recommendations based on the research findings.

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