Health sciences should focus more on LGBT relationships

By Alyssa DiSabito

(Marielle Fibish/Collegian File Photo)
(Marielle Fibish/Collegian File Photo)

College students who have chosen a major within the health sciences are exposed to a vast amount of information about the human body and face a challenging curriculum each day. Although the curricula being followed vary depending on the major, sexual education seems to be a topic covered by most majors within the health sciences.

However, it seems that whenever the topic of sex is brought up in class, the only type of sexual intercourse discussed is that which takes place between a man and a woman, excluding sex between two men or two women and anyone else who does not fall into the “straight” category. The lack of discourse about same-sex intercourse and contraception is not only discriminatory against a large number of gay students, but also does a disservice to anyone planning on getting a career within the health sciences.

Mackenzie Farrell, a friend of mine who happens to be a gay male majoring in public health, finds the lack of gay relationships discussed in his classes to be incredibly unfair. When asked to elaborate on why he believes gay relationships should be brought up in college health classes, he said, “It makes sense that heterosexual sex is talked about, it should be talked about. But homosexual sex should be talked about, too. There are too many college students within the LGBT community that are health science majors and we want to feel like we are being acknowledged. Not only that, but anyone planning to go into the health or medical field is going to come across a lot of LGBT people. They should possess enough of a knowledge to be able to address their homosexual patients, as well as their heterosexual ones.”

Some may argue that because the majority of college students are straight, it makes sense that male-female intercourse be the main topic of discussion. But I have to agree with the point that Farrell made: Male-female intercourse is an important topic of discussion for health science majors, but there are many students within the LGBT community studying health sciences as well, and their presence should be acknowledged.

Anyone planning to go into the health or medical field should have knowledge of both male-female and same-sex relationships in order to improve the way in which they will care for patients. As gay men and lesbians are increasingly accepted by society and are being represented in the media more than ever before, more people within the LGBT community are willing to come out. Being a member of the LGBT community is becoming less and less taboo and therefore knowledge of same-sex relationships is becoming necessary to fields such as medicine.

I believe that any health sciences majors who are opposed to the idea of including more of a discussion of same-sex relationships in college health classes should think about what kind of an education they are trying to obtain. Exposing themselves only to male-female relationships is not enough to prepare them for a career within the health sciences. Gay men and lesbians exist and they should not be ignored simply because they are not the majority.

As soon as colleges and universities decide to include studying gay and lesbian lives in their health sciences curriculums, students will be receiving a well-rounded education, be better prepared for their future careers and will feel like they have been acknowledged.

Alyssa DiSabito is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]