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Language Sensitivity 101


Stonewall Birth of the gay rights movement in the US: the Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid in Greenwich ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Language Sensitivity 101

Language Sensitivity 101
  • CHM LGBT Allies in Medicine and SNMA
  • Prepared for National Primary Care Week
  • 23 october 2009
  • Thanks to
  • American Medical Student Association
  • Committee on Gender and Sexuality for original

  • To become familiar with terminology relating to
    minority patients.
  • To be comfortable saying out loud what these
    words mean, and come to some working agreement on
    how we use them.
  • To encourage participants to respond when they
    hear these terms being used incorrectly.
  • To encourage participants to develop tools that
    will help them to connect with and advocate for
    patients who are marginalized.

  • You are a lesbian patient who has come in for a
    yearly physical. You have never met this
    physician before. Your partner does not have
    health insurance.
  • Underlying feelings
  • What should the doctor do to make this patient
    feel comfortable?
  • How would you respond if the doctor asked
  • Are you married?
  • Are you sexually active? What form of birth
    control do you use?
  • Youve never had sex with men/women, right?
  • Oh youre a lesbian? You arent at risk for HIV.
  • I HAVE to ask, do you have sex with men, women or
  • Do you have sex with men, women or both?

  • Gay man concerned about partners care
  • Lesbian who wants to have children
  • Bisexual married woman
  • Gender-transitioning person
  • Questioning teen
  • Immigrant (Legal or undocumented)
  • Iraqi man
  • African American woman

Have we observed prejudiced behavior?
  • Among physicians?
  • Professors?
  • Classmates?

Whats wrong with these sentences?
  • Although Mary was blonde, she was still
  • Pat is a male nurse.
  • Terry Harris, a well-known female productivity
    consultant, will advise the committee.
  • Dr. Martinez, a senior citizen, continues to
    maintain his practice despite his age.
  • Paraplegic James Alton competes in marathons with
    other crippled racers who train in wheelchairs.
  • With the simple nobility that characterizes his
    people, Onondaga Indian leader Leon Shenandoah
    acted as a spiritual and political advocate for
    the Iroquois Confederacy until his death in 1996.

  • Sex refers to biologically determined
    differences in chromosomes, hormonal profiles,
    internal and external sex organs.
  • An identity, derived from anatomical or biologic
    features. People are assigned a sex at birth
    based on the appearance of their genitalia.
    Occasionally chromosomes, genitalia, and hormones
    present in varied combination. Sex identity can
    be changed.

  • Gender describes the characteristics that a
    society or culture delineates as masculine or
  • Gender identity is an identity derived from the
    individuals internal sense of gender.

Gender Expression
  • Behaviors, derived from the individuals gender
    identity. Involves dress, styling, mannerisms,
    social roles and interactions. Can only be
    understood in the context of given cultural
    expectations and normative gender roles.
  • Gender expression may be particularly fluid over
    the course of a persons lifetime.

  • Cultural assimilation is a political response to
    the demographic fact of multi-ethnicity which
    encourages absorption of the minority into the
    dominant culture.
  • It is opposed to affirmative philosophy
    (multiculturalism) which recognizes difference.
  • Often used with regard to immigrants.

  • The exchange of cultural features that results
    when groups having different cultures come into
    continuous first hand contact the original
    cultural patterns of either or both groups may be
    altered, but the groups remain distinct.
  • Exchange of foods, music, dances, clothing,
    tools, technologies.
  • Related to Westernization and cultural

  • Racism is the belief that race is the primary
    determinant of human traits and capacities and
    that racial differences produce an inherent
    superiority of a particular race.

  • Racialism entails a belief in the existence and
    significance of racial categories, but not
    necessarily in a hierarchy between races.

  • Ummah is an Arabic word meaning community or
    nation. In the context of Islam, it is used to
    describe the diaspora, or community of

Ethnic Group
  • A category or group of people considered to be
    significantly different from others in terms of
    cultural (ie dialect, religion, traditions) and
    sometimes physical characteristics (ie skin
    color, body shape). Commonly recognized North
    American ethnic groups include American Indians,
    Jews, Latinos, Chinese, African-Americans
    (black), European Americans (white), etc.

  • A salad bowl model of society in which the
    permanent existence of unassimilated and
    partially assimilated ethnic/racial minorities is
    accepted and encouraged. Those who advocate this
    model for the US generally advocate providing
    special attention and assistance to minorities
    that have been underrepresented in the past.

Melting Pot
  • A society in which immigrants and native
    ethnic/racial minorities are assimilated into the
    dominant national culture. Those who prefer this
    model for the US generally advocate encouraging
    assimilation in order to reinforce national unity.

Boundary Maintenance
  • Generally considered a positive term, reinforcing
    an ethnic groups unity and distinctness by
    emphasizing the traits that set its members apart
    from others, rather than what they share in
    common with them.

  • Original rainbow flag had 8 stripes, with
    specific meanings ascribed to the colors
  • Pink sexuality
  • Red life
  • Orange healing
  • Yellow sunlight
  • Green nature
  • Turquise magic/art
  • Indigo serenity/harmony
  • Violet spirit

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
  • Transgender someone whose gender identity does
    not match their anatomical sex
  • Queer (sometimes Questioning)
  • Intersex an individual who is born with
    external/internal genitalia and/or secondary sex
    characteristics determined as neither exclusively
    male nor female
  • Ally someone who doesnt identify as, but
    supports LGBTQI social movements.

Human Rights Campaign logo symbolizing
equality. HRC is the largest LGBT lobby
group/political action committee in the
Straight Allies
  • Straight ally describes a heterosexual person who
    supports equal civil rights, gender equality, and
    LGBT social movements.
  • Straight allies can also have a coming out

  • Men who have sex with men
  • Refers to men who engage in sexual activity with
    other men, regardless of how they identify
    themselves. Many choose not to accept social
    identities of gay or bisexual.

  • An individual who is born with external/internal
    genitalia and/or secondary sex characteristics
    determined as neither exclusively male nor
  • Hermaphrodite is an antiquated term that is
    stigmatizing. Current change to Disorder of Sex
    Development (DSD).

  • A term used by individuals who are part of
    American Indian and Canadian First Nations
  • Usually implies both a masculine and feminine
    spirit living in the same body.
  • Also used by some contemporary LGBT Native
    Americans to describe themselves.
  • Native terms for these individuals exist in
    various Native American languages.

  • Male to Female/Female to Male
  • Generally refers to transsexual individuals.

  • Similar to how Queer might refer to any
    non-normative sexual orientation, Genderqueer
    relates to a non-binary sense of gender identity
    and refusal of labels that may or may not involve
    sexual orientation.

  • Regardless of motivation, a person who wears
    clothes (make-up, etc) that are considered
    culturally appropriate for the opposite gender,
    but not for ones own.
  • Drag queen/king a person who dresses in clothes
    of the opposite gender specifically for an event
    or performance.
  • Crossdressing a term given to those who dress in
    clothes of the opposite gender for any reason
    other than performance or special occasions.
    Usually satisfied with ones own gender identity,
    but finds satisfaction in crossdressing.

Sexual Preference
  • Similar to sexual orientation, indicating a
    pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual
    attraction to men, women or both genders.
    Sexual preference is more commonly used by
    people who believe that sexual orientation is a
    matter of choice.

Sexual Orientation
  • The preferred term used to describe pattern of
    emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to
    men, women, or both (or neither).
  • Also has a social component sexual orientation
    refers to a persons sense of personal and
    social identity based on those attractions,
    behaviors expressing them, and a membership in a
    community of others who share them.

Affectional Orientation
  • Used alternatively to sexual orientation. It
    is based on the perspective that sexual
    attraction is one component of a larger dynamic
    ones orientation is defined by those with whom
    one is predisposed to fall in love.

  • In societies that regard some races of people as
    dominant or superior and others as subordinate or
    inferior, hypodescent is the assignment of
    mixed-race children to the race that is
    considered subordinate or inferior. The opposite
    practice is hyperdescent, in which children are
    assigned to the race that is considered dominant
    or superior.
  • The Nazis used this criterion for labeling people
    as Jews whose only connection with Judaism was a
    grandparent.  Similarly, it has been used in
    North America to label people as African American
    even if they were mostly European in biological
    ancestry.  Hypodescent is also known as the "drop
    of blood" criterion.

  • Birth of the gay rights movement in the US the
    Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous,
    violent demonstrations against a police raid in
    Greenwich Village, NYC, June 28, 1969. Commonly
    cited as the first instance in US history when
    people in the LGBT community fought back against
    persecution of sexual minorities.

  • Less than one-half.

  • Greater than one-half.

  • African-American Hispanic Asian Native American
    inclusive term coined at Boston College in 1979
    by two students who objected to the name Office
    of Minority Programs. They cited the definition
    of the word minority as less than and proposed,
    instead, to use AHANA which they felt celebrated
    social and cultural differences.

  • What did you learn?
  • How do you feel about how the words were defined?
    Did it change your perception after hearing the
  • Are we in agreement over these definitions or
  • How can we speak up if we hear questionable
    language coming from a
  • Professor
  • Peer
  • Attending Physician