Advancing Cultural Competency Toward Sexual and Gender Minorities: Innovation in Maternal and Child Health Pedagogy

Stacey B. Griner, Erica C. Spears, Smriti Maskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this project was to develop and disseminate an innovative teaching activity to increase cultural competency toward sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations within the maternal and child health (MCH) context. Description: Over 4.5% of the population (16 million people in the US) identify as SGM, and this population is an often-overlooked group within the traditional MCH context. SGM individuals have specific healthcare needs, including reproductive healthcare needs, that are currently left unaddressed. Given these gaps, the future MCH workforce should be prepared with cultural competency skills to address reproductive health inequities from many perspectives, including SGM populations. An innovative SGM activity was developed and disseminated to supplement the MCH and Reproductive Health curricula. Assessment: The objectives of this SGM Reproductive Health activity were: (1) to understand SGM populations, terminology, culture, and health inequities within an MCH context; (2) enhance cultural competency and the communication skills appropriate for this population; and (3) develop culturally competent resources for practice. The teaching activity includes a lesson plan, lecture with script, recorded lecture, assignment description, and grading rubric, designed for a U.S. based curriculum. The activity was evaluated and modified based on feedback from students, and pilot tested in practice in a graduate-level reproductive health course. Conclusion: Future MCH leaders must have the skills to provide culturally competent care to the populations they serve, including SGM populations. Through teaching about SGM populations and cultural competence, educators can equip future MCH leaders with a culturally competent skillset to prepare them to work in cross-cultural situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Cultural competence
  • Graduate education
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexual and gender minorities


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