Consortium on Sexual and Gender Minority Health grants its first Graduate Student Research Award

June 21, 2022 - Karessa Weir

Lucas PrietoMSU Social Work PhD student Lucas Prieto (he/him) has won the inaugural Graduate Student Research Award presented by the Consortium on Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Health.

Consortium Director Dr. Carla Pfeffer (she/her) announced that Prieto’s proposal “Sexual Health and Well-being and Internalized Gay Ageism among Older Gay Men” was selected for the $1,500 award. 

“Lucas Prieto’s research explores factors predicting sexual satisfaction and wellbeing among older gay men, who are often marginalized and may experience a number of physical and mental health disparities that can impact sexual wellbeing. His proposal was particularly strong due to his study’s focus on a largely unexamined health outcome in a marginalized SGM subpopulation; his engagement with community members throughout the research process to inform his methods, measures, and recruitment process; his unique theoretical lens; and the study’s methodological rigor. Mr. Prieto’s project demonstrates a clear commitment to advancing health equity for SGM populations,” Dr. Pfeffer said.

Prieto’s research includes a confidential online survey exploring topics such as sexual satisfaction, sexual activity, aging, and the health of gay men 50 years and older in the Midwest. 

As a biracial queer scholar this award means a lot to me on a personal level, but more notably how this award will allow me to continue the discussions of sexual health and well-being among older gay men,” Prieto said. “I believe as a younger gay man and social work scholar it is important to conduct research that has the potential to close health disparities that older sexual and gender minorities (SGM) may face, including disparities related to sex.”

Prior to coming to MSU, Prieto earned his Master of Social Work degree at University of Michigan and served as an intern at Wayne State University Counseling and Psychological Services. 

The Consortium on Sexual and Gender Minority Health, housed in the School of Social Work in the College of Social Science is a large group of social scientists who study SGM physical or mental health with a focus on minority stress, the life course perspective, and intersectionality, from a social ecological approach.

The work of the SGM Consortium centers on the development and support of interdisciplinary research teams, mentoring of faculty and graduate students, engagement with community stakeholders, and leading SGM health training initiatives.