Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee

Second Committee Member

Dina Birman

Third Committee Member

Daniel Santisteban

Fourth Committee Member

Manuela Menendez


This study sought to contribute to psychological understandings of Latina women who have sex with women (WSW) via a qualitative, phenomenological inquiry. Grounded in a feminist, intersectional framework, this study followed Smith and Osborn’s (2015) interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a Latina WSW and how this experience is influenced by multiple stressors related to racial, ethnic, and sexual identity. Interviews were conducted with 13 participants and subsequently analyzed using Smith and Osborn’s (2015) guidelines for interpretation, thematic labeling, and narrative synthesis. Emergent themes characterizing participants’ experiences as Latina WSW were listed and described in detail, along with participant statements and researcher analytic commentary, to provide a detailed account of what this phenomenon entails, as perceived by participants and as understood by this researcher. In doing so, this study aspires to add to the literature a more nuanced understanding of Latina WSW experiences in the hopes that such knowledge will inform future research on Latina sexuality, clinical practice with Latina WSW, and policy measures aimed at promoting psychological health and optimal well-being.


Latina sexuality; WSW; women who have sex with women; queer women of color; LGB Latinas; LGB women of color