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Health care providers attitudes toward those that practice alternative sexual lifestyles

15 August 2005


Context: Healthcare providers in general are not routinely educated about the BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) alternative sexual minority, and therefore may treat these people differently. An uneducated or under educated provider may base their diagnosis and treatment plans on inaccurate or misinformation for their patients who participate in the BDSM lifestyle. This may cause BDSM patients to be less candid about their sexual choices and prevent them from getting compassionate comprehensive care. This study investigated the attitudes and knowledge of health care providers based in the United States to assess their perceptions about patients who participate in BDSM. This study also provides tips and information for providers to follow in order to open the lines of communication and help provide compassionate care for the BDSM community. This study will also serve as a training aid for educating providers on common misconceptions and mistruths about sexual minorities.

Objective: To evaluate the knowledge base and attitudes of health care providers toward patients practicing BDSM sexual lifestyles.

Design: Convenience survey sent to licensed healthcare providers, most of which practice in Oregon.

Setting: This study was completed using a proprietary internet based software survey program 'SurveyMonkey' with invitations sent to licensed healthcare providers mostly in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Results: A total of 113 surveys were completed. Results are discussed in more detail below.

Conclusions: Increased emphasis on alternative sexual lifestyles during didactic and clinical segments of any medical progran1 would be helpful to both providers and patients.


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