Nearly half of women who have sex with women have felt pressured to perform a certain way sexually by a partner.
The statistic is part of the preliminary findings of the National Sexual Wellbeing Survey for women who have sex with women survey released by the LGBT Foundation to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.
The survey ran between August and November 2018, gathering more than 2,500 respondents on topics such as consent, pleasure, body confidence, access to services, discrimination and sexual violence.
“Women who have sex with women prefer to access sexual health services in community and voluntary settings.”
— Claudia Carvell, LGBT Foundation
According to the LGBT Foundation, the poll represents the largest body of work focusing on LBT women’s sexual wellbeing in over a decade and one of the largest studies of its kind ever conducted.
The survey indicated that 45 percent of women who have sex with women have felt pressured by a sexual partner.
Among trans and non-binary people, the figure is even higher, with 36 percent of trans people saying that they always or mostly felt pressured by sexual partners, compared to only 13 percent for cisgender—those who identify with the gender assigned at birth—women.
Overall, only two third of the LBT women surveyed said they felt confident during sex with previous partners and a further 69 percent felt confident enough to communicate about the sex they wanted to have with their previous sexual partners.
Also, 42 percent of respondents indicated having experienced sexual violence, but only 55 percent of those who sought support for survivors of sexual violence reported receiving the help needed.
National survey ‘increases visibility’ of experiences of women who have sex with women
Claudia Carvell, Women’s Programme Co-ordinator at LGBT Foundation, explained the survey’s findings on LBT women are helpful in increasing the visibility of experiences of women who have sex with women, while simultaneously illustrating the work that still needs to be done to address the inequalities and particular experiences these women face.
“Sexual orientation and trans status monitoring is absolutely critical in addressing the significant gaps in knowledge and evidence, as is breaking down responses to look at age and ethnicity,” Carvell said.
She added: “Sex and Relationships Education in schools that is fully inclusive of LGBTI people is similarly vital in improving the wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual and trans women.
“We also know from this research that women who have sex with women prefer to access sexual health services in community and voluntary settings—the commissioning of these specialised services should be a priority.”