As I still have and will not be placed in BBBS until the beginning of next semester I have been able to really go in depth into my research topic. I chose the topic of reproductive healthcare in the homeless population, and I titled my essay (or at least my working title) is Reproductive Healthcare in the Homeless Population: Sex, Shelter, and Social Injustice. One of the most interesting and important topics was that of trade sex in the youth homeless, especially female, population. Before delving into my research I knew that even in housing secure interactions sex is used as a form of currency, but for someone experiencing homelessness it can be the difference between life and death.
Young women especially engage in trade sex to gain necessary resources for survival: food, shelter, safety, and material goods. Women will even trade sexual favors in order to stay with a male companion on the streets just to increase their safety, because a large proportion of women on the streets are fleeing abusive relationships and family situations, only to be confronted with issues of violence on the streets.
Through the little trauma I have experienced I could not imagine a situation where the prospect of rape, pregnancy, STDS, and STIS was more favorable than anything. But the hopelessness and isolation experienced by people living on the streets can be one of the most painful experiences, more painful than any physical ailment. These women are survivors and sacrifice their bodies, and when trying to receive medical treatment they are judged for it.
The apathy of clinic doctors and physicians dealing with low income or homeless patients was also shocking to me. My mom is in the medical field and I have worked side by side with her in a foot clinic in Syracuse, NY for the poor. All the practitioners there were caring and empathetic to the plight of these people, and I can't imagine why anyone would enter into the medical field without having empathy for the trauma of human existence and compassion for people's struggles.