Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Document Type



In many professional practice settings, it is very likely that social workers will work with female clients who identify as lesbian or bisexual. These sexual minority females are more likely to be overweight or obese, have a history of childhood sexual abuse, and have more positive attitudes toward overweight and obesity than heterosexual women. In this study, the author sought to identify the relationship between childhood sexual abuse, obesity, (specifically, body mass index [BMI]), and attitudes toward obesity among lesbian and bisexual women. Eighty-five sexual minority females completed a survey. Childhood sexual abuse was found to be positively correlated with BMI. However, lesbians’ attitudes toward obesity were not associated with childhood sexual abuse nor were they found to be associated with BMI. Additionally, lesbians did not report significantly different attitudes toward BMI based on their own BMI and history of childhood sexual abuse. These findings are further discussed in the context of previous research, limitations, and implications for direct practice.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Maccio, Elaine

Included in

Social Work Commons