Promoting the Health of Gender and Sexual Minorities

Course #51793 -


The gender and sexual minority (GSM) population is a diverse group that can be defined as a subculture. It includes homosexual men, lesbian women, bisexual persons, transgender individuals, and those questioning their sexual identity, among others. While assessment of the subculture and identification of culturally competent health promotion strategies have been delayed for many reasons, the health promotion needs of GSM individuals of various ages are appearing with more frequency in professional literature. Borrowing from the discipline of counseling, use of four crosscultural communication skill areas may be used to promote intercultural communication when working with members of other cultures. Use of these skill areas becomes a framework for identifying strategies that members of the interdisciplinary team may use to promote cultural competency when interacting with GSM individuals.

Education Category: Community Health
Release Date: 10/01/2021
Expiration Date: 09/30/2024

Table of Contents


This course is designed for all members of the dental team, including dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, working in all practice settings.

Accreditations & Approvals

NetCE Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. 10/1/2021 to 9/30/2027 Provider ID #217994. NetCE is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Dentistry, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is a Registered Provider with the Dental Board of California. Provider Number RP3841. Completion of this course does not constitute authorization for the attendee to perform any services that he or she is not legally authorized to perform based on his or her license or permit type.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this activity for 5 continuing education credits. AGD Subject Code 750. This course meets the Dental Board of California's requirements for 5 unit(s) of continuing education. Dental Board of California course #05-3841-24333.

Course Objective

More individuals who identify as gender and sexual minorities and their families want culturally appropriate information as well as support and referral. The purpose of this course is to provide dental professionals with strategies that promote cultural competency when treating and caring for these patients, supporting the concept of patient-centered care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define multiple terms related to the concept of sexual identity.
  2. Define heterosexism and homophobia and identify how they may be barriers to increasing professional awareness of gender and sexual minorities (GSM).
  3. Summarize myths related to the GSM population.
  4. Describe research challenges related to the GSM population.
  5. Describe select theoretical models related to the development of one's sexual identity (the "coming-out" process).
  6. Cite unique health and safety concerns experienced by the GSM population and available resources that healthcare professionals can provide to these patients and their families.
  7. Identify culturally appropriate strategies useful for implementing skills, including the application of crosscultural communication.


Leslie Bakker, RN, MSN, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at West Virginia State University Technical and Community College in Institute, West Virginia. She earned her BSN from Florida State University and her Master's from West Virginia University with an emphasis on primary healthcare. Professor Bakker's 43 years of nursing experiences have included hospital nursing in the United States and northern Europe, community health nursing, home health nursing, nursing education and community health activism. With a focus on transcultural nursing, she served as international student advisor for many years. She has designed and delivered diversity education programming for law enforcement personnel. Before retiring, her practice included health promotion activities for the gay community with an emphasis on gay youth. She has presented at several local and regional health professional conferences, and has published in professional nursing journals.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Leslie Bakker, RN, MSN, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

William E. Frey, DDS, MS, FICD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.