Research

Overview

Dr. Agénor’s research investigates health inequities in relation to multiple intersecting and mutually constitutive social positions and power relations—especially sexual orientation and heterosexism, gender and (cis)sexism, and race/ethnicity and racism—using an intersectional lens and a mixed-methods research approach. Specifically, she uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to investigate the structural and social determinants of sexual and reproductive health and cancer screening and prevention among marginalized populations, especially sexual minority women, transgender and gender diverse young adults, Black women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people of color.

Using national probability sample surveys (e.g., National Survey of Family Growth, National Health Interview Survey), online surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups, Dr. Agénor examines how multilevel social and health care factors (e.g., access to health information, patient-provider communication, discrimination, clinical practice guidelines, health and social policies) shape inequities in cervical cancer screening, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, and contraceptive care across and within sexual orientation, racial/ethnic, and gender groups in the U.S.

Her current research seeks to elucidate how multiple, intersecting forms of structural and interpersonal discrimination, including heterosexism, racism, and (cis)sexism, independently and jointly influence access to and utilization of these preventive services and related health outcomes among multiply marginalized groups. The goal of her research is to help inform evidence-based policies, programs, and practices that promote equity in sexual and reproductive health and cancer outcomes.

You can learn more about each of Dr. Agénor’s research areas and current and past research projects below.

Current Projects 

  • Structural and interpersonal discrimination and Black sexual minority women’s sexual and reproductive health care (funded by Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law)
  • Policy- and provider-level determinants of sexual orientation and racial/ethnic disparities in HPV vaccination among young U.S. women (funded by National Cancer Institute)
  • Minor consent laws and HIV prevention among adolescents in the United States (PI: Dr. Kimberly Nelson; funded by National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Understanding the HPV vaccination beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of transgender and non-binary assigned female at birth young adults (funded by The Fenway Institute)
  • Multi-level determinants of PrEP awareness, attitudes, and experiences in a national survey of transgender and gender diverse U.S. young adults (PI: Dr. Allegra Gordon; funded by Providence/Boston CFAR)

Past Projects 

  • Multilevel social determinants of sexual health care among transmasculine young adults of color (funded by National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Body image, romantic relationships, and sexual health among transfeminine and transmasculine young adults (PI: Dr. Allegra Gordon; funded by Aerosmith Endowment Fund)
  • Sexual orientation and racial/ethnic disparities in contraceptive care among U.S. women
  • Scoping review of scientific literature on reproductive health among transgender people
  • Sexual orientation and racial/ethnic disparities in breast cancer screening among U.S. women
  • Reproductive health among transmasculine young adults (funded by Society of Family Planning)
  • Sexual orientation, racial/ethnic, and nativity disparities in HPV vaccination
  • Cervical cancer screening among transmasculine individuals (PI: Dr. Jennifer Potter)
  • STI risk and testing among Southern African American SMW (PI: Dr. Christina Muzny)
  • Sexual orientation and racial/ethnic disparities in HIV testing among U.S. women and men 
  • Sexual orientation and racial/ethnic disparities in cervical cancer screening among U.S. women
  • Welfare reform family caps and poor women’s and women of color’s reproductive health and rights (PI: Dr. Diana Romero)