Students' Perceptions of the Integration of Sexual and Gender Minority Constructs within the Dental Curriculum

Janine Thea D. Ellevera, Maria Lourdes Dorothy S. Salvacion


Background and Objective: The sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) are at risk for various health disparities. To address this, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls for the training of healthcare providers who demonstrate cultural competence. To facilitate this, studies have suggested the inclusion of SGM-specific constructs in the curriculum that is complemented with campus climate-related efforts. This study aimed to determine the degree of coverage of cultural competence towards the SGM constructs in the required curriculum and describe the campus climate towards the SGM of a dental school in the Philippines from the students' perspective.

Methodology:  A convergent parallel mixed-methods design was employed. A survey questionnaire was developed and administered to determine the coverage of SGM-specific constructs. This was followed by semi-structured interviews to discuss the campus climate towards the SGM. Data collection utilized a twostage stratified random sampling method for the survey while a purposive sampling method was used for interviewing dental students enrolled in a private, non-sectarian school.

Results and Conclusion:  Survey results show that the most reported covered concepts are the oral
manifestations of sexually transmitted diseases and the use of inclusive terminologies. Interview responses reveal instances of inadvertent perpetuation of heteronormative ideologies, however, the campus climate is perceived as neutral towards the SGM. The integration of the two datasets reveals incongruences between the curricular coverage and the perceived campus climate. Nevertheless, findings imply that the dental curriculum remains largely objective and asexual. Additionally, the integration underscores the importance of complementing curricular content with an inclusive campus climate in developing cultural competence among dental students.


sexual and gender minority; dental curriculum; campus climate; mixed methods design

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X