Heteronormativity in health care education programs.

Published: August 21, 2011

Abstract

The Equal Opportunity Committee at the Swedish university where this study was performed has a specific plan for equality with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity which concerns both students as well as employees. The overall purpose of this study was to investigate nursing students’ and medical students’ experience of LGBT issues within their respective educations. A qualitative semi-structured group interview study was carried out in autumn 2007. Five nursing students and 3 medical students from semester 2 to 6 participated. The students who participated described LGBT people as an invisible minority in all circumstances and that it was not easy to discuss and promote the theme since the student risked coming out involuntarily. The students felt that teachers and administrators were too passive when it came to LGBT issues and, the students themselves felt excluded. The students felt that heteronormativity governed in both the nursing and the medical education programs. This paper suggests that the law regarding equal treatment of students must be adhered to by administrators, and universities must begin to provide education on LGBT to employees and students. So why not recruit qualified LGBT instructors and lecturers similar to the gender lecturers employed at several other universities in Sweden

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