The Physical Self-Perceptions of Rural Lesbians and Heterosexual Women

Natasha Mendoza, Veronica Harner, Hilary Haseley, Gail Leedy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Lesbians are underrepresented in women's health research. Research exploring lesbians in rural environments is virtually nonexistent. The current study adds to the knowledge base of lesbian health and explores the perceptions of body image, fitness, and health for both lesbians and heterosexual women in rural communities. Findings from exploratory analyses indicated that both groups of women are significantly overweight. However, lesbians exercised more times per week than heterosexual women. Results demonstrated that lesbians with college educations had more positive body image and fitness self-perceptions, whereas heterosexual women with college educations had less positive body image and fitness self-perceptions. Findings have implications for direct practice with lesbians in physical and mental health service settings.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)187-200
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


    • body image
    • lesbians
    • rural communities
    • self-perception

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Sociology and Political Science


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