QUESTION: Oppressions as social determinants of health

question / pregunta: 

Can anyone recommend good books/articles/essays that outline why queerphobia, transphobia, sexism & racism and/or unstable housing are social determinants of health?

I work for a non-profit health agency and this info would be useful to radicalize our programs.


Answer posted by:
jim miller gets 181 hits (21 of them free online) for the search: sexism and health and determinants; and 199 hits (24 free full text) for: racism and health and determinants. Pubmed is a highly technical and scholarly database, and most of its results will not link you to full text unless you access it at a large medical or very large academic library - via a proxy or "link resolver" that takes you to any journal that the library subscribes to. For example, at University of Maryland, our "Researchport" lets you find Pubmed "By database name", so that when you click on a title in your search results list, the full abstract record has a bright yellow "Find it" button that links you to online if we subscribe, or print if that is all we have, or Interlibrary Loan if we don't get the journal in any format.

If you are near a large public academic library, you can very likely get a free guest password to search online journals and databases. For this search, there are quite a number that may help, but for quickest access to full text, major ones would include Academic Search Premier (or Complete, in the largest libraries), ScienceDirect, SpringerLink and JSTOR. Academic Search lets you limit to "scholarly/peer reviewed" journals, either before OR after you do a search. It defaults to search of author, title, journal title, subjects, and abstracts. You can do a search such as: racism and health and determinants in this default search. But if you "Select a field" TX all text, you may need to use "Proximity search" to find articles that have the words close together (and thus more related to each other). For example, TX racism n50 health n50 determinants would find at least one place in each article where the words are no more than 50 words away from each other (including vertical distance in text). The smaller the number, the fewer hits you will get. Most libraries let Academic search default to "Advanced search", where you can use the drop down menu to "Select a field". This search has 3 boxes to put words into, but it works fine to do the entire search all in one box - it scrolls to take maybe 240 characters.

ScienceDirect, Springerlink, and JSTOR are ALL scholarly, and all default to full text. But you can choose "Citation and abstract", or title-keyword-abstract if you use advanced search. JSTOR has very few abstracts, so your practical choice is either the default full text, or title. Its proximity search follows the pattern: "racism health determinants"~50, which gets 44 articles(number of JSTOR hits may vary depending upon a university's subscription "package"). ScienceDirect would be sexism w/50 health w/50 determinants (14 hits); sexism w/20 health w/20 determinants gets 4 articles. SpringerLink does not have proximity search.

Bear in mind that many publishers let you SEARCH their journals free on the web, but charge a high fee for ordering full text PDFs (often $30 or more per article). Two of the above databases do this: and But since you can't get the full text without paying for it, you would be better off using Google Scholar, because it searches those 2 and hundreds of other publisher's databases. Google does not allow us to "force" proximity search, but its "relevance ranking" takes proximity into account. Once you found good articles based on these free searches, you could use any nearby public library to order items on interlibrary loan.

Finally, you can get into more free sites by limiting a Google search to site:gov, site:edu,, etc. to get into academic sites that have digital repositories or other full text reports. finds STATE as well as federal websites, documents, reports, etc.

Here are six records I found in WorldCat:

Committee on Human Sexuality, and Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. 2000. Homosexuality and the mental health professions: the impact of bias. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

Gold, Mitchell, and Drucker, Mindy. 2011. Crisis 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. Magnus Books. (and 2008 edition from Greenleaf)

Herdt, Gilbert H., and Cymene Howe. 2007. 21st century sexualities: contemporary issues in health, education, and rights. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Huegel, Kelly. 2003. GLBTQ: the survival guide for queer & questioning teens. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub.

Omoto, Allen Martin, and Howard S. Kurtzman. 2006. Sexual orientation and mental health: examining identity and development in lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Peterkin, Allan, and Cathy Risdon. 2003. Caring for lesbian and gay people: a clinical guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

My search strategy (in the paid version of WorldCat) was < homophobia AND health* >. (Ask me about bias in Library of Congress subject headings if you want to know why I chose not to use the keywords you provided.)